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Lawrence Burke

BURKE, Lawrence - 1963-2018 It irked him arriving into this world three minutes after his fraternal twin brother because Lawrence liked to be first. First up, first out the door, first to sample every new pleasure and adventure that life had to offer: damn the torpedoes. School was a new adventure eagerly anticipated. Waiting his turn and sitting in one spot proved unappealing but he did enjoy asking lots of questions. This was not because he didn’t know the answers, or even cared to know, if he didn’t, but because raising his hand was the easiest way that he could best relieve the tedium, amuse his classmates, and upset the teacher all in one go - more than one pedagogue from Sacred Heart Elementary having jeopardized their career with an unmeasured response to his oft times relentless, mischief-making provocations. Idle classrooms made him restless and bored; he needed to see and be seen and to move that fine body of his. Sports, however, provided a perfect platform for his boundless energies, natural talents, and innate gift for showmanship. Never one to waste time pondering his options to pass no matter how far away the basket or how near or numerous or menacing the opponents, elbows out, Lawrence held the ball, took to the air in spectacular fashion and took the shot……………….. "SWISH!" As a Sarnia All-Stars goaltender throughout the seventies one truly had to wonder if he was giving every oncoming, blistering slapshot a full one-second head start before dramatically flicking out the stick or a skate or that lightening fast glove of his to make the save and wow the crowd. He could do what he did because he was fearless. Consequences were inconsequential. Tougher-than-nails, nothing and nobody intimidated him. Lawrence had oodles of charm and looks to spare that combined with his athletic prowess, glib tongue, precocious wit, and steeled nerves to make him a life- force to be reckoned with. Fearless is but a degree from reckless, of course, and that inevitably entails wreckage of some sort or another that is generally backlit by trace elements of a noxious substance or two. Things got hairy often enough, so he’d light up and move on until memories dimmed and moods improved. He could walk beaches and streets for miles upon miles but nobody really knew where he got to. Of course, you could follow the telltale trail of broken hearts and bloodied noses; or, if you just waited, sure enough as soon as you rolled a smoke or tore the cellophane off a fresh pack, with impeccable timing he would reappear willing and able to let you share with him the spoils of the moment. As to where he’d been and what he got up to, well, one could ask and he would tell but he never did let the facts distract from any story. Best just to hand over a cigarette, dig him up a light, and savour the rugged congeniality of his ever-fleeting presence because, as so many everywhere he explored have discovered, resistance was futile. Loose ends all tidied-up, Lawrence was a proud father with a devoted wife and a loyal dog when the enemy manifest itself as just a small pain in the side to him. It was so established and widespread that he should have already been dead. That was still a long way off. Never one to play the odds or throw in the towel, for far too long Lawrence went toe-to-toe all day, everyday in a marathon battle between searing pain and staggering endurance; fighting not one but multiple adversaries each as pernicious as the other; namely: the cancers and the toxic concoctions called treatment. There were milli-seconds left in the ten-count when he suddenly laughed off the pain, sat up, and, with style and looking good, put hand to heart… and then shuffled off. The youngest of seven grown siblings, he was the first. The Adams Family Funeral Home in Barrie, Ontario will relay online messages of condolence. Lawrence’s father, Gerald Sr. and his sister Lynn (Joe) Durocher still reside on Colborne Road.13314611
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Sincere condolences
Posted by Nancy Gage Barry (High school friend to Gerald jr.) On Saturday, December 15, 2018
This is a wonderful tribut to Lawrence, but it brings so much sadness to know that he is gone. I have fond memories of growing up in the neighbourhood near Colborne Rd., and the day was always a little brighter having said hello to one of the Burke twins.

Gerald, thinking of you and your family....I am truly sorry for your loss.

Sending my condolences
Posted by Rhonda Jackson (Acquaintance) On Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Dear Lynn and Gerald

It has been many years since I first met you in Sarnia when my former husband worked for Esso. We enjoyed many evenings at Gerald’ s home and I vaguely remember meeting Lawrence. My son now lives in Sramia and works for Esso so while reading the Sarnia Observer I saw Lawrence’s obituary and thought of the Burke family I once knew. Sending my condolences from NS on the loss of your son and brother.

RIP Lawrence - you are missed
Posted by Lory B (former neighbour on Colborne Road) On Monday, December 3, 2018
This tribute to Lawrence flooded my memories of living across the road from "the Burke Boys". As a young girl, I would try to catch a glimpse of them walking Blackie. Gerald more reserved. Lawrence strutting his stuff (no shirt, no shoes and those ever memorable hip-hugger jeans). They would wave and smile which would make my day.

My mom still resides on Colborne and has a special place in her heart for your family.

I wish you all peace and light during this most difficult time.

Far too young
Posted by Karl Flegel (Friend) On Monday, December 3, 2018
Gerald and family, so sorry to hear of Lawrence passing. We had a great time at Sacred Heart mixing adventure, trouble and learning. Lawrence was full of life, energy and passion. Gerald, hang in there buddy. Rest in Peace Lawrence
Posted by Lisa Hill (Niece) On Sunday, December 2, 2018
As the oldest of his many nieces and nephews, my weekends were spent in the backyard with Lawrence, Gerald and Blacky as well as the rest of my dad’s siblings. My condolences to the entire family.

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