Ruth G. Burke, 98, head of investigations agency - The Buffalo News

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Ruth G. Burke, 98, head of investigations agency

Sept. 18, 1915 – April 5, 2014

Ruth G. Burke, president of Edward J. Burke Investigation and Auto Recovery Bureau, died Saturday in Beechwood Hospice, Getzville, after a brief illness. She was 98.

Born Ruth Young in Buffalo, she attended St. Mary’s Seminary. A longtime Buffalo resident, she later moved to Williamsville, living independently until just three weeks before her death.

Mrs. Burke and her husband, Edward, founded their company, a detective and security agency, in 1948.

For the first several years, Mrs. Burke worked out of her home, scheduling guards for the Niagara Falls Power Project and armed guards in the Buffalo jazz bars and at Canandaigua Racetrack, and dispatched patrol cars that monitored the houses in the Parkside area of Buffalo, while raising six children and seeing to the details of her household.

Her husband worked at the company’s main office in the Dunn Building in Buffalo.

After the death of her husband and partner in 1962, Mrs. Burke became president of the company, moving to the main office.

Operating in both Buffalo and Miami Beach, the company was the largest detective agency in Western New York during the 1960s.

In addition to spending time with her family, Mrs. Burke enjoyed knitting Irish afghans to give as gifts and helping the needy.

For more than seven years, she worked the food shuttle at the Jewish Federation apartment building, handing out doughnuts and pastries.

She was a member of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church.

Mrs. Burke loved to travel. She and her husband won many trophies for ballroom dancing.

Recently, over the course of one year, Mrs. Burke collaborated with her granddaughter Abby Lestition Aisley in the creation of her own cookbook: “Nana’s Favorite Recipes.”

She is survived by three daughters, Eileen Burke Lestition, Sister Sheila Anne and Anne M. Creenan; a son, Timothy P.; a sister, Doris Hurley; and 23 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:15 a.m. Monday in St. Leo the Great Church, 885 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.

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