menu

Celebrating the life of

James "Jimmy" Burke

Passed away on May 16, 2022

James

    James Guy Burke, Jr., 86 of Savannah, Ga. was received into Heaven by our Lord on May 16th, 2022 after a short illness. Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 22nd at Saint Michael's Catholic Church on Tybee Island from 6:00 to 7:00 pm with a rosary service at 5:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist on Monday May 23rd at 10:00 am. Graveside service to follow at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens. Please join the family in a celebration of Jimmy's life at the American Legion Tybee Island ,Ga.

   Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, Mildred Johanna and James Guy Burke, Sr. and his sister Caroline Burke Owens. He is survived by his beloved Neca Stoller, his two daughters; Kelley Burke (Ronnie Akins) and Carrie Burke, three sons; Jay Burke III, Barney Burke and Patrick Burke (Jessie); two brothers; Nick Burke (Patty) and Billy Burke; one sister; Johanna Remeta all of Tybee Island; six grand children: Kaylee Crosby, Ashton Akins, Jameson Burke IV, Caroline Burke, Wray Akins, Bree Burke; and one great grand daughter Riley; and many loving nieces and nephews.    

Jimmy was a true Irish Savannahian born on June 5th, 1935. He grew up on Tybee Island and was educated in the Catholic school system going from Cathedral Day School to Benedictine Military School from which he graduated in 1953. He then attended Armstrong State College and the University of South Carolina where he majored in Civil Engineering later.  He later worked with Hussy Gay & Bell, the Housing Authority of Savannah and finally the City of Savannah Water Department from which he retired. 

His Irish heritage was very near and dear to his heart. For over 65 years, beginning in 1953 he was a member of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee. During this time, his contributions were substantial and outstanding. In 1950, Jimmy served in his first elected position on the parade committee as an Adjutant until 1976. Then he was elected Vice Chairman in 1977 and General Chairman in 1978. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus (Council 631) for 66 years, and is a past Grand Knight. He was a founder and charter member of the Irish Heritage Society, the Shenanigans, and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick serving as their President in 1991. He was also a member of the Hibernian Society.

Jimmy initiated and conducted the first Jasper Green Ceremony which has swelled in attendance and is now a landmark tradition during Savannah's St. Patrick celebration.

In 1992, he received the distinguished honor of being named the Grand Marshall of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. 

Jimmy has also devoted a large part of his life to his country and civic community. He served in the United States Marine Corps reserves as a part of the fifth Rifle Company for eight years and three years in the 117th Georgia Air National Guard. 

In 1998, Jimmy was elected to the Tybee Island City Council and served a four year term. His memberships in civic organizations include the American Legion Post 154 (50 plus) years, Knights of Columbus 631 and 5588, Savannah Quarterback Club, Exchange Club of West Chatham county and many others. His most recent contribution was serving as President of the Tybee Island Republican Club, a position he has held since 2012.

Since 1956, Jimmy has owned and operated Burke's Beach Rentals, a family business that continues to this day. For many years, he owned a successful surf board business and until his death held the title of "Georgia's oldest living lifeguard". 

Jimmy smiled on Savannah and Tybee Island throughout his long life of service to the city and the Irish community with nobility and humility. His impact will be felt for generations to come and he will be dearly missed. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to Benedictine Military School in his honor.

 

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

Image
GUEST BOOK

My prayers and sympathy to the family.

- Jacqueline Edenfield , Savannah , GA

To my cousins, I am so very sorry for the loss of Jimmy. He will be missed by everyone that ever knew him. “And the Saints, go marching in.” Love y’all

- Shannon Foley Slaughter, Bloomingdale, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Stephen Herb, Savannah, Ga.

My condolences to my cousins on the loss of Jimmy, a truly great guy! I hope he's drinking a Jameson with the angels right now!

- Michael Foley, Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

I am so sorry for your loss! Jimmy was a great man and always very kind to me.

- Barbara Foley, Savannah, GA

I will keep you all in my thought and prayers as you deal with the loss of your Daddy. He lived a great life and had experiences most people can only dream of.

- Paula Webster, Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

A great friend who will be greatly missed. Love to all the family.

- Beverly Ginn, Savannah , Georgia

We convey our deepest sympathy to the entire Burke family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

- Robert and Brenda Simpson, Tybee Island, Ga.

Jay , bArnie ,carrie kelly and Patrick.....your Dad was a AWESOME MAN he had a heart of gold...the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind and to this day i always think about the float stand and your dad walking up Down the beach selling peanuts With the white zinc oxide on his nose Your dad always had the best peanuts So I guess when he gets to heaven Hopefully hell have some peanuts waiting for us Chair and umbrella to sit on the beach with I have such great memories of sitting down there at the Float stand ill cherish those memories for the rest of my life....

- Anthony Stephens, Summerville, SC

I am deeply saddened at Jimmy's death, and extend sincere condolences to the entire family at this most difficult of times. Jimmy and I were lifelong friends, and classmates in Cathedral parochial school, and through Benedictine Military School, in the class of 1953. Although we were separated through time and distance for many years, our close bond endured throughout our lives until we reunited at our beloved Tybee Island in 2007 , and we enjoyed and celebrated many old Tybee Memories, our many beach days past, Tybee politics, # 631 K of C,, St. Patrick's Days past,etc, etc, and a few Jamesons along the way. Jimmy cherished deeply his Catholic Faith and Irish Heritage, and was a true friend, and so cordial to all who passed his way. Yes, We will all miss him, the Blarney, and above all, His sincerity and kindness to everyone. I know you are confidant in the sure belief that He has passed through death to life with our Blessed Lord and Mary Immaculate forever. With Love, Jack

- Jack Daniels, Tybee Island, GA

My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I thought the world of Jimmy.

- Debbie Lightfoot, Savannah, GA

I worked with Jimmy on the beach for about two or three years in the 60s renting floats, chairs and umbrellas. Jimmy always had a smile on his face and a great pleasant attitude towards everyone. I always respected him because of his big heart and attitude towards everyone. He was a good man. Eternal rest grant unto him and let perpetual light shine upon him.

- Tony Stephens , Albuquerque , New Mexico

A candle has been lit!

MAY HE RIP

- JOHN MELL, Savannah, Georgia

Jay, Barney, Kelly, Carrie - sorry about the loss of your father. Linda gave us the sad news. Your family is in our prayers. May your dad RIP.

- Doug Dunlap, MARIETTA, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

My condolence to you all.

- karrie Griffin Henry , Savannah , Ga

Deepest sympathies and condolences. Jimmy was a true Tybee legend! We will miss him.

- Terri (Brown) & Mike Patillo, Tybee and Savannah, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

- Patillo Family, Tybee, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

- CHERYL CLAY AND DENNIS HARTMAN, TYBEE ISLAND, Georgia

It is a sad day but also a time to celebrate Jimmy's full life. He loved his family, his friends and to tell a great story. We will miss our friend as we know the you will. We pray that the pain of your loss lessens and the memories of his time with you enhances. Our condolences and prayers are with you each and everyone!

- Perb & Kay Fortner, Tybee Island, GA

A candle has been lit!

Kelly, Carrie, Jay, Barney and Patrick, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Daddy he was a great man! I will always cherish his kindness and our days at the float stand. Any time I would see him he would always give me a big hug. Every St. Patrick's I always think of your Daddy. May He Rest In Peace Love, Theresa Stephens Williamson

- Theresa Stephens Williamson, BROOKLET, GA

I'm devastated by the loss of Jimmy. He was one of the kindest, caring, intelligent, loving family man I've ever met. He really cared about me as a person and was always willing to spend time with me. There will never ever be anyone like him. I thank God for the short time we spent together weeks ago, not knowing he'd shortly be gone. My prayers are with the family every day. You all were so blessed to have him.

- Marie Rodriguez, Tybee Island, GA

I'm devastated by the loss of Jimmy. He was one of the kindest, caring, intelligent, loving family man I've ever met. He really cared about me as a person and was always willing to spend time with me. There will never ever be anyone like him. I thank God for the short time we spent together weeks ago, not knowing he'd shortly be gone. My prayers are with the family every day. You all were so blessed to have him.

- Marie Rodriguez, Tybee Island, GA

A candle has been lit!

Prayers for the Family.

- Patti, Tybee island , GA

A candle has been lit!

- Kelly and Alex Hunt, Savannah, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

Powers

- Vincent Powers, Savannah , Georgia

Jimmy was the kindest sweetest man, always a smile and sense of humor beamed from his face. My condolences to his family and many friends, he will be missed by all.

- Mary Crowley , Savannah , GA

My prayers and best wishes to the family. I have many fun memories of the float stand and the surf shop.

- Kay Garlington, Savannah, GA

My prayers and best wishes to the family. I have many fun memories of the float stand and the surf shop.

- Kay Garlington, Savannah, GA

Our sincere condolences to all Of the Burke family. He was such a good man and good friend. May he Rest In Peace. He will surely be missed. Sherrie and George Schwarz

- Sherrie Schwarz, SAVANNAH, GA

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Jimmy. He was a great man who will be sorely missed by many. May he RIP. Roland & Margie Shiver

- Shiver, Savannah , Georgia

A candle has been lit!

Prayers for the family.

- Joe and Sheri mathews, dublin, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

Thoughts and prayers be with you all at this sad time!

- Jos. Dillon III family, Savannah, Ga

He will be missed. I don't think I would have made it through My teenage years without Jimmy, Barney, the float stand and the Surf shop. God Bless you Jimmy! Bugsy Graves

- James G. Graves (Bugsy), Columbia, SC

Sorry to see that Jimmy has passed away. Prayers to his family.

- Bob White, Greensboro , Ga

My deepest condolences to the Burke family.. Jimmy was definitely a “ Tybee Icon” and will surely be missed….. My prayers for you all..

- Betty Lachapelle , Wilmington Island, Ga

Our prayers go out to Jimmy and family. He was one of the nicest guys you would want to know.. Proud to have called him a friend. I'm sure he will be missed by all. R.I.P.

- Annette and Gene Kindrick, Appling, Ga

Kelly & Jay Im so sorry to hear about your Daddy. He was a great man! I always enjoyed seeing him he was such a kind person. He will be missed by many. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Love you all! Helen Courtenay-Selman

- Helen Courtenay-Selman, SAVANNAH, GA

Condolences and prayers goes out to the family.

- Diana& Toney English, Savannah, Ga

My deepest sympathy to Neca Stoller and the family of Jimmy Burke

- beverly and bernie goode, Savannah , Ga.

Jay, very sorry for the loss of a Great Guy, your Dad!! Paul and Judy

- Paul Ganem, Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

Praying for the whole family.

- Bethany and Steve Kellam, Tybee Island, GA

I knew Jimmy from the Savannah Bank N/A , he would come in the bank often and always with a smile, I know he will be dearly missed by all. Sincere Sympathy to his family Barbara Hudson

- Barbara Hudson, Savannah, Ga

I knew Jimmy from the Savannah Bank N/A , he would come in the bank often and always with a smile, I know he will be dearly missed by all. Sincere Sympathy to his family Barbara Hudson

- Barbara Hudson, Savannah, Ga

Jimmy was a good man and will definitely be missed by many. My he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

- Ebb Youmans, Savannah, Ga

We were honored to know Jimmy and the Burke family as good friends and we will truly miss Jimmy's ideas, energy, kind words, friendship and support. When we think of the term 'gentleman,' we think of Jimmy as the gold standard.

- Charles and Joey Burel, Clarkesville, GA

I am sorry for your loss. I know you will miss him greatly.

- Martha Kral, Savannah , Georgia

We will miss Jimmy's smiling face. He was good for Tybee and quite honestly, good for our country. We feel honored to be among those who knew and called Jimmy a friend. We will be praying for peace and loving memories for Neca and Jimmy's entire family. Many blessings to all of you as you get through these difficult days.

- Bonnie and Larry Nesbitt, Tybee Island, GA

A candle has been lit!

Our condolences to the Burke family.

- Johnny & Florence Groover, Savannah, Ga

Johanna, Nick, Billy, son and Daughters. Losing a sibling, father, grandfather is difficult. I know. Our deepest sympathy goes to you as you go through this journey. Jimmy was a wonderful man and he will be missed by many. My memories of him go back to my childhood. Jimmy was always renting stuff to beach people. He certainly did alot with that money. Everything else he did in life made him one of my role models. My fondest memory though was a SHS reunion for our wives. We We are not part of that graduating class, so we found ourselves in the bar like any other good Irish man. I finally got him all to myself and told him I was a big fan of his. I will never forget that. Rest in peace Jimmy Burke, I know if you have anything to do with it you will. God bless. Love Billy and Brenda Manucy

- Billy Manucy, Savannah, Ga

Kelly, Carrie, Jay, Barney and Patrick, you lost our father, a truly wonderful person and m entire offer each of you our sincerest and condolences. No words can replace the love and caring for each of you that he exhibited over his lifetime. Jimmy was dedicated to his Faith, Family and Friends. Jimmy and I have been friends for almost 75 years and Jimmy was truly the Ambassador of friendship. Jimmy never met a stranger and he had time to listen to everyone and always had a story to tell. Jimmy brought a bright light of care and love to all as he made you smile. Jimmy loved his Irish Heritage and he proved it through his many years of service to all the Irish Societies he belonged to. Savannah Irishman Honored him by electing him Grand Marshal of the 1992 St. Patrick's Day Parade. Jimmy loved Tybee like few others, and he was so immensely proud of His Tybee that in my family we called him "Mr. Tybee". On Monday May 16, 2022, God Called and Said Jimmy Come Home My Loyal and Faithful Servant. Rest in Peace my friend. Billy Logan

- William G Logan, Bal Harbour, Florida

So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with the family .

- Linda Gernay, Savannah, GA

Jimmy was a wonderful man. He loved his family, Tybee and his Irish heritage. It is a huge loss. I am so saddened. Neca

- Neca Stoller, Tybee Island, GEORGIA

Sincere condolences.

- Michael P. McCarthy , West Palm Beach, FL

So sorry for your loss. I had the great honor to get to know Jimmy as members of the Tybee Beach Task Force. He helped with campaigns to keep our beaches clean. He always had a smile on his face and a warm welcome. He will be sorely missed.

- Kate Burns, Tybee, Ga

A sad day for Tybee. Among his other accomplishments, Jimmy played father confessor, chaperone and chauffeur to all us early 60's Tybee surfers. Who else could have (or would have) driven a van load of teenaged idiots all over the East Coast without a (serious) incident? Together with Bugsy & Barney, Jimmy started the early Tybee surfing movement, and was the original "Big Kahuna". God Bless you, Jimmy.

- Rusty & Roxanne Fleetwood, Tybee Island, GA

May fond memories comfort you all during this time. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

- Holly and Bob, Tybee Island, Georgia

Sorry for your loss

- Lee ciucevich , Thunderbolt , Georgia

Thoughts and prayers at this sad time for family and friends that lost this lovely man

- Robert Steve Joynes, Savannah, Georgia

Thoughts and prayers for this lovely man and his family and friends and my deepest regards and condolences

- Catherine Wolfe, Savannah, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

A TRUE IRISHMAN ,MAY HE RIP

- MELL, Savannah, Georgia

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
912-352-7200