Joseph “Clark” Burke, Jr. of Summit, NJ, passed peacefully on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at the age of 67.
Clark was born on March 17,1954 in Englewood, NJ to the late Gertrude Marvin Burke and the late Joseph Clark Burke. He grew up in Summit where he remained a lifelong resident.
Clark earned his BA from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio and his MA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park, New Jersey.
After graduation, Clark joined Summit Oaks Hospital, where he worked for 43 years, helping thousands of patients. As Director of Therapeutic Activities his proudest achievement was working with patients to help them overcome the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction. His career accentuated the best of Clark, elevating his natural gift of helping others, guiding them through life’s obstacles and encouraging them to lead a strong life.
Clark is survived by the love of his life, Lisa Ryan, wife of 27 years. An unparalleled team, together they were role models of a great union and wonderful life. They embraced his thirst for travel and took every opportunity to experience the world with the company of family, friends and many strangers who would become friends.
His authentic spirit allowed him to connect with anyone he met, understanding who they were and how to make them smile without ever being imposing. Clark was known for his affable and warm nature at every event, always striving to make everyone feel included and comfortable. He loved bringing people together, most notable was his weekly “guys’ night” enabling his friends to gather at his home for an evening of fun in his infamous game room.
Taking great pride in the lives of his nieces and nephews and friends’ children, he was there to cheer them on at sporting events, congratulate them at lifetime achievements, and often becoming their confidant, always offering honest and sound advice.
Clark was known for his active life and boundless skillset. Spending time at the family cottage in Thornhurst, PA, he enjoyed many activities including rafting, snowmobiling and tennis. He enjoyed maintaining his home and yard; vigilant about pruning the trees and shrubs that would grow into beautiful surroundings.
Clark was survived by his brother Guthrie Burke, his wife Meagan and their children, Guthrie Jr. and Hallie, his brother, Calvin Burke, his wife Anne, and their children Sarah, Ciaran and Aidan, and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Susan and Michael (Chip) Chiarulli.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation on Sunday, April 18th from 2pm-5pm at Paul Ippolito Summit Memorial, 7 Summit Avenue, Summit, NJ. Please visit www.ippolitofuneralhomes.com for additional information and to share condolence messages with the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family request you give to a charity of your choice or do a random act of kindness to honor and reflect the life Clark led.