Virginia Carroll Burke died on May 13, 2014 at the age of 94. She was born in Scottdale, PA, the daughter of Bess Benford Carroll and Charles B. Carroll. During WWII she served as a sergeant at Bolling Field, Washington D.C. and in the China-Burma-India Theater, earning the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, WAC Service Medal, WWII Victory medal, American Campaign Medal, and the Good Conduct medal.
She was a 25-year employee of Leeds & Northrup Co. in North Wales, PA as an executive secretary, and following her retirement was with Montgomery Newspapers for four years before a second retirement , then moving to Lititz, PA.
Virginia volunteered for 25 years as an American Red Cross first aid instructor, and donated over ten gallons of blood in its donor program. She was the first active female member of the Second Alarmers Rescue Squad of Willow Grove. As a state-certified EMT and paramedic, she served with that group, the Horsham Fire Company, and Cheltenham EMS, and served on the Board of the Manheim Township Ambulance Association. She was also a member of the Neffsville Community Fire Company.
She was a life member of American Legion Post 248 of Glenside, VFW Post 1463 of Lititz, and was a co-founder of the Bux-Mont Women Veterans Association. She was inducted into the Legion of Honor of the Chapel of the Four Chaplains in Philadelphia for community service, and the mayor of Wilkes-Barre presented her with the key to the city for her rescue efforts during the 1972 flood. She was a Brownie Leader and Senior Girl Scout Leader, and was Den Mother for the Boy Scouts.
Virginia is survived by three children: Susan Shigo of Florida, David (Mardell) Mullaly of Maryland, and Lisa Mullaly of Lititz, as well as grandchildren Jennifer, Todd, Airica and David, and great-grandchildren Anthony, Megan, Jared, Gianna, Tori, Angelina and Lily.
She will be laid to rest at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery on June 13th at 3 PM, and a celebration of her life will be held at the Oregon Community United Methodist Church on June 14 at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers a contribution may be made in her name to ORCA Animal Rescue of Lancaster.
An extraordinary woman, she really lived while she was alive.
Virginia was a warm, loving and caring woman who knew just what to say and do to put you at ease and draw you into her circle.
When her son David and I were married and moving into our first apartment, she surprised us by stocking the refrigerator, freezer and pantry as a “welcome home” gift. I adored her and so did my parents. When David and I divorced, Virginia made a point of telling me that she and I had not gotten a divorce. My relationship with her continued with annual holiday greetings and the occasional phone call. She also kept in touch with my parents though out the years.
It was an honor and privilege to know you, Virginia. I’m sure God has a special place for you in heaven. My mother and father are already there and perhaps you’ve already reconnected with them.
Virginia was one of a kind and will be missed by her family and friends. To emulate her would mean a dedication to beliefs, a generous spirit and a life well lived. God speed
Family,love of this great USA, God,and all creatures on this earth—Ginny- you loved them all! I proudly called you my friend! Many secrets were shared during your curling time with me! I will always cherish our times and your great gift to me—your book on your life! Now you are at rest with God’s loving arms around you! Till we meet again! Love to your family– Lisa you are my connection! Strength and pleasant memories! Love, Judy
To Susan and the family:
While I only knew your mother briefly, she is in my prayers.
Virginia did her duty for her country and, as a fellow veteran,
I salute her.
We Just Lost A Great Lady
After living for ninety-four years and drinking every last drop of an amazing life, my mom has died in Lititz PA. She enlisted in the WAACs during WWII, served as a member of a flight accident investigation team, and then a general’s secretary in Calcutta, India, and met my father there. Along the way she married and divorced four guys and almost single-handedly raised three kids.
Besides her full-time employment and parenting, she volunteered for many years as a first aid instructor, and then as a paramedic and EMT. She helped survivors after a hurricane in Mississippi and did the same after the big flood in Wilkes-Barre. She saved an unknown number of lives of auto accident victims with the Second Alarmers Rescue Squad in the Philadelphia area. And she apparently did some short-term undercover work for the FBI. I’ll skip the public honors she received—she did things that mattered.
She was full of fun and playfulness, and remained so until the very end of her life. My thousands of high school students had her influence to thank for my feeble attempts at humor in the classroom. She got a big kick out of challenging the Abington Township commissioners because the authorities said she had no right to keep Herman a pet duck in her back yard. As usual, she won that battle, and some local politicians became the targets of jokes in the regional media. She outlived almost all of her many friends, but her life will be celebrated by her children, grand-children, and great grand-children.
She was truly a member of the Greatest Generation. She fought no great battles, but she was a strong woman ahead of her time, and she quietly made a difference to the many people whose lives she touched. She was a Penn State fan, mostly because I was. And she will be greatly missed. I was honored to be her son.
We offer our condolences to Virginia’s family too. Virginia became a great friend with my mother and me. She was very caring and thoughtful with her sense of humor. Virgina was a bright and strong lady and we miss her.
Our world needs more people like Virginia.
My heartfelt condolences to Susan Shigo and the rest of her family. I lost my own mom last August and now Virginia Burke has joined her in heaven.
Susan, No words can express the sorrow I feel for you, your family and all the people your mom has touched in her life. I am truly sorry that I never had the honor of meeting this extraordinary woman. She not only raised three children, but served both her country and community. She is the spirit that made this country great. She will be missed by all, but her spirit will live forever.
Dear Susan, I am sorry you lost your mom. It is so difficult to lose someone you love and a mother is very hard to lose. Celebrate her life and remember her with love.
I knew Virginia quite well for a long time. I will miss her “devilish” smile and marvelous enthusiasm for all the world. I will remember her for her kindness and graciousness toward me and my son. She continues to be loved in our hearts and minds for the great lady she was. She is now in Heaven dancing to piano music and having a really good time. Virginia, you made a difference in this world. Thank you, dear
Goodbye for now Virginia! See you again when he’s ready for me. I will miss your calls and talking to you. Don’t give god too much trouble.
Virginia, I remember meeting you with Susan and I was happy to meet such a bright, energetic and caring person with love for her family!
May God Bless Virginia as she enters the Kingdom of God.
I want to express my sincere condolences to the family as I know how I felt when my parents departed this world!
Love to all the Burke Family,
John Shigo, MD
May 15th, 2014
Susan, I can’t express in words how sorry I am for your Mom. I know you will miss her greatly. Comfort to you, Liz
Sincere sympathy to the family of Virginia Burke. May she rest in peace and may the family find comfort in knowing she no longer suffers.
With love, dear Mom, from your daughter and the world who will miss your energy, spunk, determination, caring, and commitment. You gave the world far more than you took and for you I am so proud. We will meet again!!