Thomas “Tom” D. Burke, 72, of Kailua, Hawaii died peacefully on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 in his home following a prolonged illness.
He leaves his wife of 20 years, Jerilyn Chu Burke; his son, Zachary; his daughter, Sara and her husband, Alberto Timpauer; two grandsons, Takoda and Tristin; brother Edmund and sister-in-law, Martha.
After working in counter-intelligence for the U.S. Army, Tom had the opportunity to work with Roy and Estelle Kelley of the Outrigger Hotels, where he served 32 years then retired as the Vice President of Operation. In 1999, Tom was responsible for the successful launch of the new brand and strategic direction and operations of the 15 Waikiki hotels that comprise the OHANA group. He served as Governor (liaison) for Best Western hotels in Hawaii and received his Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) designation in 1988.
Tom had a passion for car racing. For many years, he owned and drove competitively a Formula Ford race car. As his fellow racers and friends often said: “Tom was a fierce, determined but fair competitor and we loved racing with him. A true gentleman in and out of the racing track”
A life lived to the fullest, he will be greatly missed by all of his family and many friends. Those whose lives Tom has touched are invited to attend a celebration of his life on Fri., Sept 9th from 5:30pm-7pm; service at 6:00pm at the Outrigger Reef Hotel Diamond Head Terrace Ballroom (located lobby level). Aloha attire.
In lieu of gifts and flowers, contributions in his memory can be made payable to the UH Foundation with a note “Thomas D. Burke Scholarship Endowment” which will benefit students enrolled in Kapiolani Community College’s Travel, Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Operations Program. Gifts may be sent to UH Foundation, P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828-0270.