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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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Sandra Brightwell on October 26, 2021 at 4:16 AM said:

Peace be with you, Wendy. Tight squeeze.
Rene & Lisa Guajardo on October 25, 2021 at 8:31 PM said:

We love you all! Rene & Lisa Guajardo
Teresa on October 25, 2021 at 8:30 PM said:

Wendy, your love for your family is one of the many wonderful things about you. Karla was blessed having you as her sister. I know you will miss her always.
Shelley & Glen Flesher on October 25, 2021 at 6:39 PM said:

What a beautiful tribute you wrote. We are sending our love to all of you. Keep all the good memories, laughter and fun times in your heart.
Heidi Fuss-VanDam on October 25, 2021 at 6:29 PM said:

Lisa and Wendy- I am thinking of you both right now as you go through this tough time. I can’t imagine losing a sister, thinking about all the wonderful times you have shared over the years. Hopefully, those adventures and all the small moments you shared together will bring you so much laughter and joy between the tears and overwhelming sadness! I will remember Karla for her kind letters she always sent when I least expected them, and her genuine interest in what was going on in our lives when we got together upon our visits to AZ or when she was here in MI.
I am sending you both a big hug!!! Love you! Heidi
Marlene on October 25, 2021 at 6:19 PM said:

Karla loved cats and gave generously of her time, funds and heart Affectionately, Marlene
Karen Thorn on October 25, 2021 at 2:25 PM said:

Karla was the best friend a girl could have. We met working at Sentry Insurance, 40 years ago this month. We spent time together over the years seeing movies, discussing books, eating out and traveled several times together to Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Rhode Island and New York City. We both loved sports and could always find things to amuse us. I still bet on Duke, due to Karla’s influence. We exchanged books three weeks ago, just before she became ill. I can’t believe she’s gone. I have warm thoughts in my heart and am sending them to Wendy and Lisa. I will miss her dearly.
Mike and Pam Hess on October 25, 2021 at 2:01 PM said:

Karla was always so much fun from garage sale shopping, entertaining, sharing books, fun conversations, and having a genuine interest in whatever we were doing. She loved family and friends and she took such loving care of her father and mother. The three sisters were as close as any and Karla loved Wendy and Lisa dearly. Our love and condolences to the family and friends who will all miss her so much.
Cynthia Nichter on October 24, 2021 at 9:19 PM said:

In memory of Karla <3
Louise and Chuck Dugan on October 24, 2021 at 9:16 PM said:

In honor of your sister, with love. Louise and Chuck Dugan
Jae Nichter on October 24, 2021 at 8:21 PM said:

Dearest Lisa and MaryAnne,
My heart goes out to you both during this period of Karla's passing. What a shock for you and your family. Sending love and hugs, Jae
Marguerite Conners on October 24, 2021 at 4:13 PM said:

Lisa, Wendy and Maryanne, Karla will be missed and I’m sorry for this devastating loss. I have fond memories of Karla, especially during the holidays at the Burke house. Karla was always reading something interesting or baking something special to share. My heart is with you.
Brigitta, Kathy, and Renie on October 24, 2021 at 1:51 PM said:

Lisa and MaryAnne, We are so sorry for the loss of your sister. Please know we are sending love and prayers your way. Brigitta, Kathy and Renie
Barb and Janet on October 24, 2021 at 1:50 PM said:

Lisa & Wendy, We are so sorry for your loss. Love, Barb and Janet
joyce burke on October 24, 2021 at 8:18 AM said:

I have known Karla since her birth. She was always a warm, friendly, and loving individual who so often put others first. Karla will be greatly missed by those who knew her, especially her family. I know that she is now free of pain and able to move about freely. Enjoy your reunion with mom and dad, hope to one day see you. Love you!
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