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George G. Burke, Ii, Esq

d. February 14, 2024

George G. Burke, Ii, Esq

George G. Burke II, Esquire of Quincy died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his loving family, on February 14, 2024. He was 91.

George was born to Ruth F. (Joyce) Burke and John F. Burke in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was raised in Massachusetts and was a resident of Quincy for more than 80 years. He attended Wollaston School, Central Jr. High School, and Quincy High School, from where he graduated in 1950. He attended Thayer Academy as a postgraduate before going on to college. He liked to tell people how he attended several colleges before settling in at his alma mater, UMASS Amherst, where he said he received “the greatest education ever…and for just $50 per semester!” George went on to get his Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School. He was a firm believer in getting a good education. He also loved to tell people that he not only served in the Army, but he served in the Coast Guard and Navy as well.

George had many loves in his life. He loved basketball. He loved the Celtics. He loved UMASS. He loved QHS (he attended 79 straight Thanksgiving Day football games between QHS and NQHS; he was also initially cut from the basketball team at QHS and went on to become captain of the team). He loved his law practice (he worked as an attorney until 2022). He loved the City of Quincy, to name a few. He purchased the John Quincy Tankard and loaned it to the City of Quincy. He made countless contributions to the city he loved.

Unsurpassed, however, was his love of his wife, his family and God. He sure loved life and he lived it to the fullest. Until the moment he passed away, he had a smile on his face.

Beyond his greatest love of his wife and kids was his great love of his grandchildren. George, aka Grampa or Papa, was a devoted grandfather and so proud of his grandchildren. They were just as proud of him. His grandson Clayton said, “I am so thankful that I got to call such an incredible human being my grandfather,” Just before he passed, he became a great grandfather and was thrilled beyond measure. We think that he waited to become a great grandfather and then felt complete. He was ready to go.

George adored his own mother, who raised five children as a single mom. “The greatest gift my mother gave me was my faith.” His Catholic upbringing was an important part of his life. He believed in being a good Catholic and a good person and instilled those values in his children and grandchildren. He taught his kids the importance of giving to those in need and giving back to the community. His philanthropy went both seen and unseen. He was a big supporter of Father Bill’s. He had a new roof put on at St. Ann’s School. Many years ago, he, his wife and kids delivered Christmas presents to a stranger whose presents were stolen on Christmas Eve. One of the many acts of kindness he did without the limelight was putting lights in at The Mount. For many years, he gave 6 $1000 scholarships to UMASS (3 from QHS and 3 from NQHS). He opened his backyard and basketball court to all the neighborhood kids (and those beyond the neighborhood, too).

George was an avid basketball player and loved the game. He held scoring records at both Thayer Academy and UMASS. He was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks, but Walter Brown, owner of the Celtics at the time, wanted a local hero on his team. George then became a rookie for the Boston Celtics. He played with Bill Russell, Sam Jones, Bob Cousy, K.C. Jones and Tommy Heinsohn, to name a few. Trigger also played semi pro ball and scored 77 points in a single game…*without a 3-point line!*

While at UMASS, he held all the scoring records and became known as Trigger because he rarely missed a shot. It wasn’t until Julius (Dr. J) Erving joined the basketball team at UMASS that Trigger’s records were broken. Both Erving and Trigger have their jerseys (both #32) retired at UMASS. George upheld the name Trigger until his dying day, and he could shoot a basketball well into his later years. He used to love to show his own kids, the neighborhood kids, and any basketball player he came across, the proper way to shoot.

After a season with the Celtics, George decided to pursue a degree in law. He was very active in his community and became a politician. He was the first democrat to be elected city councilor in Quincy. He became councilor at large, was a state representative and was the youngest District Attorney of Norfolk County. He loved to tell people that he was acting mayor even though it was only for a month because he was city council president.  His passion was being an attorney and he worked until he was 89 years old.

Our father was an amazing man and words can’t really express how much he meant to us. He taught us the importance of hard work and the value of a good education. He taught us to make family a priority and how to love thy neighbor. He taught us the significance of God and having faith. He showed us the importance of giving back whenever possible and giving to those who are less fortunate. He taught us about being happy and he showed us how to have a good time. He taught us to be grateful for what we have, no matter what that is. We are blessed to have had such a great man as our father!

George is predeceased by his loving and devoted wife, Sandra Jean (Backofen) Burke and two sisters, Joyce (Burke) Welch and Marion Burke.

He is survived by 2 siblings: John F. Burke Jr. and his wife, the Honorable Nancy Fuerst; and his loving sister, Kathleen Burke.

He is survived by his 5 children: Jeannie Hanlon and her husband, Bill; Susan Burke-Lewis and her wife, Karin; Joanne Burke Sherman and her husband, Eric; George G. Burke III (and Tina Percy) and Debra.

He is also survived by his 14 grandchildren: Katie (Hanlon) Jakober and her husband, Derek; William (Billy) Hanlon and his wife, Kayla; Kerry Hanlon; Ezekiel George, Eilam Francis and Evania Ruth Rose Burke-Lewis; Trevor and Shane Sherman; Liam, Gwendolyn, Bryce and Maeve Burke; Sebastian and Clayton.

He is survived by one great grandchild: Eloise Sandra Ruth Jakober.   He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to  greet the family during the visiting hours on Feb. 25th,  Sunday 3-8 PM in the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., QUINCY. A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the funeral home at 9:45 AM on Monday prior to the Funeral Mass in St. Ann’s Church, Quincy at 10:30 AM. Burial in Pine Hill Cemetery, Quincy.  In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of George may be made to Fr. Bills Place, 430 Belmont St. Brockton, MA 02301.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of George G. Burke, Ii, Esq, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visiting Hours

Sunday, February 25, 2024

3:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life Service

Monday, February 26, 2024

Starts at 9:45 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Monday, February 26, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

St. Ann's Church

, Quincy, MA 02170

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