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In Memory of Karla Burke


In Memory of Karla Burke

Karla loved animals (especially cats!) and was a generous supporter of many animal rescue organizations. 
She welcomed many fur kids into her heart and home.
We know that Nellie, Clementine, Igor, Sam, Andrew, Lucy, Tuffy, Fog
and Munchkin were but a few waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. 
Love, your sisters, Wendy and Lisa.


Karla Gayle Burke, 64, died October 21, 2021 from West Nile Virus after a brief and devastating illness.  She was loved and will be greatly missed by many, including her two sisters Wendy (Roger Karber) and Lisa (MaryAnne Majestic), her three aunts, many cousins, wonderful friends and her cat Sara.

Karla was a lifelong voracious reader who inherited her love of books from her mom Ann. Weekly trips to the library as a child continued throughout her life and brought her much joy as did participating in her book club, swapping books with her sisters and friends and supporting her public library.

Karla had many interests.  She loved to cook, entertain and decorate for the holidays and set a mean table with her vintage china. Following Duke men’s college basketball, visiting her home state of Michigan, road trips in general, exploring Europe, jigsaw puzzles, going to the movies and watching every minute of the Olympics were also enjoyed.

Karla was an avid letter writer and excelled in her role as the family historian and memory keeper.  She graduated from ASU with a history degree and from the inaugural class of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute after which time she worked as a professional chef and caterer.  She was able to retire from a long career as a Senior Manager for a pharmaceutical company and was proud of her many professional accomplishments.

Besides reading, Karla also loved animals (especially cats!) and was a generous supporter of many animal organizations.  The family asks, in lieu of flowers, for donations to be made to Wildhorse Ranch Rescue in Gilbert AZ by either mailing a donation to Wildhorse Ranch Rescue, P.O. Box 3080, Gilbert AZ 85299 or by clicking on her beautiful picture. 

This was one of Karla’s favorite local charities saving countless horses, burros, cats, dogs, peacocks and pigs.

A celebration of her life and sharing of memories will take place outdoors in early November with details of date and place still to be determined.


In lieu of flowers, The Family has asked that donations be made to

Wildhorse Ranch Rescue
Donations in Honor of Karla may be made
by clicking on her beautiful picture 
or by sending a check to
Wildhorse Ranch Rescue PO Box 3080 Gilbert, AZ 85299
Please add a comment below to Karla's Memory Book



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Ann Cothron on November 23, 2021 at 8:09 AM said:

Karla was an extraordinary person as she was so kind to everyone. The world was a better place because she was in it.
Lisa Cherry & Craig Levy on November 18, 2021 at 8:22 AM said:

The world is a sadder and poorer place without our friend Karla in it.
We were extremely fortunate to have known her and shared good times together.
Karla always exuded such grace and caring and we will really miss her.
Rex Jorgensen on November 16, 2021 at 2:42 PM said:

Dear Cousins Wendy and Lisa,
With heavy heart we mourn that Karla is no longer with us. She was such a warm-hearted person. I can't recall her ever having a bad day, at least she always had a smile and interesting conversation when I was with her. She always looked out for me as the youngest of the AZ cousins, and for that I am thankful. So many great memories of Christmas Eve parties and other gatherings with her. She made people's (and animals') lives better simply by being herself. We can only imagine the welcome such a good person receives when they go to heaven. God bless Karla and all who knew her.
Christine Guston on November 11, 2021 at 10:44 AM said:

My most sincere condolences going out to you dearest Wendy and your family during this difficult time. Many memories to cherish. Karla sounds like she was a genuinely caring, loving person. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Christine Eyre on November 8, 2021 at 9:18 AM said:

My heart breaks for your sadness, Lisa. Karla will always be with you because she will always be remembered! I send my love across the miles.
Roger Karber on November 6, 2021 at 7:01 AM said:

Karla was always so sweet and kind to me. It’s really hard to see how her loss has affected my wife Wendy Burke Karber. They used to talk daily. Karla was all about family and her sisterhood. She was a champion of equality and fairness. She was always there for our family. We really enjoyed the times she came to Texas and always looked forward to our visits to Scottsdale. We will
Miss her and love her. God bless Karl’s Jr. ????
Danielle D on November 5, 2021 at 11:30 AM said:

Sending this donation in memory of Karla Burke whom I had the pleasure of working with for many years at Medicis. So kind hearted and loved life deeply. We shared a love for animals and I’m not surprised she supported Wildhorse Ranch Rescue. Rest peacefully Karla with all the kitties. Thank you Wildhorse for all you do for the animals and community. Danielle D
Wendy Karber on November 5, 2021 at 11:18 AM said:

Curls…I still can’t wrap my head around that you’re gone. Yesterday was 2 weeks and it still doesn’t seem real. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought “I’m gonna call Curls” and it’s an instant gut punch. I’m honored that Lisa and I were with you when you passed. I know you see our hearts and know how broken we are. There are no words to say how much I miss you. You always wanted the best for me and everyone else too. I love that you truly were that person that celebrates others happiness and victories. I love you Curls and your kind heart.
Vicki & Mike Mitchell on November 5, 2021 at 9:38 AM said:

In honor of Karla. Thoughts & prayers coming your way Wendy!
Love Vicki & Mike
MaryAnne Majestic on November 2, 2021 at 12:24 PM said:

In memory of Karla, who like her mother, never met a cat that she did not like and was willing to welcome them into her home and take care of them. I have had the honor and privilege to spend some time with Sarah cat this past week and a more loving creature never walked the earth. Lisa and Wendy will take great care of her until you meet up again.
Julie Simek on October 31, 2021 at 1:15 AM said:

Karla and I knew each other as kids in Michigan. In fact our Moms also went to school together. After Karla moved away and we all became adults, I found out she too was living in the Phoenix area and we got together to share stories about the old days as well as catch up on our lives since. We laughed A LOT and just felt like it was yesterday since we were young. Wished we had spent more time together but I am glad for the time we had. My heart goes out to Wendy and Lisa. She will truly be missed. RIP my friend. Time to visit with all your fur babies now!
Denise Piotrowski on October 28, 2021 at 12:18 PM said:

In loving memory of Karla and her sweet spirit.
Melanie Wooster Kurtz on October 27, 2021 at 9:47 AM said:

Karla and I were childhood friends who shared a love of cats and tennis. We lived just houses away from one another, so we spent a lot of time playing together outside. We remained close friends up until her family moved away when we were in high school. She was such a kind and honest person, and I felt very lucky to have her as my friend. We just recently reconnected on FB and reminisced about the times we shared as kids. We said we’d keep in touch, and do it some more. I so wish we still had that opportunity, but I feel so blessed to have shared what we did. RIP my friend.
Lisa Burke on October 26, 2021 at 4:38 PM said:

Can't process that she is gone- so many more good books to have read, movies to see, cats to hug, popcorn balls to make...wonderful memories of our Midwestern childhood. I will miss you always. Love, Lil the Pill
Nancy DeVries Bunker on October 26, 2021 at 12:18 PM said:

Sincere condolences to Wendy, Lisa and Family on the passing of their beloved sister Karla.
Nancy DeVries Bunker
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