Jay passed away May 3rd at Diamond Peaks of Lava Hot Springs. He was born August 19, 1931 in Idaho Falls, ID, the middle child of seven children of Charles Walter and Mary Crossley Burke. He lived on the potato/grain farm in Idaho Falls, ID until he graduated from high school. Then he served a LDS mission to Mexico, after returning he went to Brigham Young University where he graduated with a Business degree. He went to work at Family Finance where friends introduced him to Joy Smith, they married in 1963. They lived in Blackfoot, ID until settling in Pocatello, ID where they raised their two daughters.
Jay owned and managed Bannock Collectors and Check Rite until he sold it. During that time, he was active in the Idaho Collectors Associations and Western Collectors Association. He had been elected as President of both associations. He also won Credit Women’s Boss of the Year Award.
Jay then managed Pocatello Red Cross Crosswind Chapter where he received Volunteer of the Year Award. Jay was an active member in Lions Club for over 50 years where, he held many different positions including President. Upon retiring he loved Lava Hot Springs, so he decided to buy a house and called it home for the last 25 years. Once in Lava, he also became an active member of Chapter 88 of the American Legion.
To those who had the pleasure of knowing Jay, knew that he loved to tell jokes, and be the life of the party. He loved canoeing and camping in Yellowstone National Park, loved to bowl (where he met his bride), wine tasting, collecting coins, traveling and of course eating. In few years, he had become a jigsaw puzzle addict. He loved spending time with his four grandchildren.
Jay was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings, Nelma McNeal, Arlene Hoopes, Darrell (Bud) Burke, and Lorna Morris. He is survived by his wife Joy (Smith) Burke, daughter Valerie Yeremin (Aleksey), Debi Neelan (Mike) and four grandkids, Leeza Yeremin, Dasha Yeremin, Devin Burke-Dwyer and Shelby Neelan and siblings Leora (“Lee”) Flynn and Adrian Burke.
The family would like to express our deepest thanks to the staff at Diamond Peaks Assisted Living of Lava Hot Springs and the nurses at Encompass Hospice Health. Thank you for taking such professional and personal care of Jay.
The family will be doing a celebration of life Jay later in the summer due to the Covid-19 situation, when we can gather and tell our favorite memories of Jay.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to the American Red Cross and/or Lions Sight Foundation.
You will be able to go online to Manning Wheatley Funeral Home to hear Jay’s graveside service.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of M. Jay Burke, please visit our floral store.