Obituary Notices and Memorials


BURKE, II, John Patrick Pat
BURKE II, John Patrick 'Pat' Born on August 31, 1949 to Jack and Phyllis Burke in Hawthorne Calif. Patrick's dad Jack was a World War II Army officer who had served in the Infantry, the Army Air Corps and the Signal Corps. Both of Patrick's parents were born and raised in Minnesota, his mom Phyllis born and raised in Canby Minn., and his father born in Baudette and raised in Stillwater, Minn. Patrick's parents and older sister Barbara moved to Lancaster, Calif., when his younger brother Michael K was born. Later a second younger brother Peter was born. Patrick's father was a General Building Contractor in Lancaster, Calif. Patrick learned many of his art interests and fascination with building things watching and later helping his father build houses. Patrick was able to have private art lessons in Lancaster by Chouinard Art Institute graduate Karl Christiansen. Mr Christiansen had a great influence on getting Patrick interested in art. Patrick later attended Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, where he enjoyed the art instruction of Doug Oliver, a fellow Antelope Valley High School graduate, class of 1967. Patrick lettered in Varsity football and track while at Antelope Valley. Patrick made lifelong friends at Antelope Valley with Richard Sawyer and Dan Coye. Patrick played guard on the football team and threw the shot put on the track team. Patrick's other love affair started his senior year in high school when his paternal grandmother Mrs. Betty Senness bought Patrick a shiny 1964 Mercury Comet with a 289 Cubic Inch engine. Patrick went on to become a national expert in Ford Mustangs, Shelby Automotive Products, Sunbeam Tiger autos. Patrick was able to own one of his favorite automobiles a 1970 Ford Boss 302 Mustang, which for many years was his pride and joy. Patrick went to work for WED, the design shop for Walt Disney, in 1972. At this time WED was considered the place to work in the Disney theme parks. Patrick worked as a Set Designer on the Disneyland thunder Mountain, which means he designed the artistic layout of the ride and actually went on scavenger trips to acquire old mining equipment to decorate the ride in Anaheim Disneyland. Patrick went on to put his stamp on the other three Thunder Mountains in the world, Disney World in Florida, Euro Disney in Paris France and Disneyland Tokyo. Patrick next worked on the Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland. He went on to work on the other three Indiana Jones rides around the world. Pat's signature talent can be seen in his conception and execution of the now famous big thunder Mountain Railroad ride at most Disney parks the ride is modeled after the Mojave California Silver Queen mine (near Lancaster, CA) and took two years to execute the first big thunder open in Orlando in 1980 and was an immediate success. Pat traveled the world as a Imagineer collecting and restoring authentic interior and exterior items to enhance their authenticity of the Disney attractions. He was an avid collector of Disney artifacts and memorabilia. As an Imagineer for 30 years, he would work virtually every Disney park on the globe. Pat was so revered by the Disney family, he was once assigned and asked to restore an original Salvador Dali printing made exclusively for Walt. While in Paris working for Euro Disney Patrick met Matt Tom Sherman and became immediate friends while working on the island attraction "Volcania" inspired by the Jules Verne Novel: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. When Patrick and Tom constructed a working robot based on the "Nautilus" submarine, the "Steam Punk Revolution" began. Because of his work in Tokyo and Paris, Patrick would receive international recognition for design work and would become a Disney Ambassador to other cultures and art lovers. Living in Glendale for about thirty years, Patrick always followed his passion often working long hours to achieve his goals and to enhance the Disney heritage. His colleagues would often say Pat would go to the end of the earth to find the perfect piece for the front of the ride, you never gave up. His unique contribution of mechanical aptitude, design, and sculpture is Pat's signature contribution to the Disney heritage. Note: His Ford and Shelby expertise were so unique that he frequently met with late night talk show host: Jay Leno, who always wanted to pick Patrick's brain on Cobra and Ford knowledge. Patrick became lifelong friends with his boss at Disney, Mr. Malcom Cobb. Patrick later worked for WDI, Walt Disney Imagineering, making Patrick an Imagineer. Patrick worked for Disney for 30 years. Patrick was a graduate of California State University, Northridge, with a Bachelor of Arts in Art, in 1972. He later taught art at Antelope Valley College at night while he worked at WED and WDI during the day. Patrick enjoyed a lifelong friendship with his friend and teacher Rich Sim, from Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif. Patrick grew up on a small cul-de-sac in Lancaster, Calif., where he grew up with Karl and Linda Pearcy, and eventually loved babysitting the children of Jean and Larry Toepfer and terrorizing them when he had a chance. One of Patrick's other close friends at Disney was Joyce Eddington, who enjoyed Patrick's requests to go on check rides when Patrick would get one of his hot rods running. Patrick was a parish member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lancaster, when he lived there. Having been baptized, received First Holy Communion and had been Confirmed all at Sacred Heart. Patrick is preceded in death by his parents Jack and Phyllis Burke of Lancaster, Calif; and his sister Barbara A. Burke of Lancaster, Calif. Patrick is survived by his brothers, Michael K. Burke of Atlanta Georgia, and Peter K. Burke of Lancaster, Calif. A viewing will occur at Forest Lawn Glendale, 4 pm to 8 pm, Sunday, January 11, 2015; the funeral will be at St Nicholas Eagle Rock CA at 10:00 am, January 12, 2015, and the burial will be at Joshua Memorial Park Lancaster, 12:30 or 1:00 pm, Monday January 12, 2015.

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