Reanne A. BurkeNovember 11, 1956 ~ August 19, 2017 (age 60)
An original name suited a truly original person: Reanne A. Burke, 60, of Longmeadow, passed away on Saturday, August 19, 2017. She was the daughter of Anne (Malone) Burke of Longmeadow and the late Donald Burke. She was a graduate of East Longmeadow High School, Springfield College and received her Masters Degree from the University of Hartford.
Reanne was a gifted athlete who was ahead of her time, possessing incredible natural ability combined with a strong competitive spirit. She was inducted into the inaugural class of the Athletic Hall of Fame at East Longmeadow High School in 2010. She lettered in field hockey, basketball and softball in each of her four years and was the leading scorer in field hockey and basketball. In college she played on the 1977 College Softball World Series team. She returned to ELHS as the first women’s soccer coach and also coached the junior varsity women’s basketball and varsity softball teams.
Originally intending to be a teacher, Reanne found her true calling as an Oncology Nurse. Her intelligence, calm demeanor and compassion endeared her to countless patients undergoing cancer care. Since 2016, she had been an Oncology Nurse Navigator at the Eastern Connecticut Cancer Institute in Manchester CT. Previously she had worked for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as Director of Operations and the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care at Baystate Medical Center as a Nurse Manager. In addition to addressing the physical and emotional needs of everyone around her, Reanne’s most memorable quality however, was making people laugh, frequently at her own expense. In this vein, she found many opportunities to dress up in creative costumes featuring such props as roller-skates, fake teeth, a variety of hats, etc., anything to make those around her happy if only for a moment.
Reanne was always either the instigator or willing co-conspirator in legendary Burke family escapades. Her niece Nicole’s decision to attend Auburn University gave rise to annual family trips to Alabama providing opportunity to dress up and cheer on the Auburn Tigers. War Eagle! She was a memorable part of every family gathering, and her love and generosity towards her family knew no bounds.
In addition to her mother, Reanne is survived by her five devoted siblings, Donald Burke and his wife Nancy of Dewey, AZ, Jack Burke and his wife Rosemarie of East Longmeadow, Chuck Burke and his wife Debbie of Atlanta, GA, Karen Nystrom and her husband Eric of Longmeadow and Christopher Burke and his fiancée Ann Bottiglieri of Suffield, CT. Reanne also leaves her cherished nieces and nephews Linnzy Castillo, Greg Burke, Nicole Nystrom and Jack Nystrom.
Calling hours for family and friends will be held on Friday, August 25, 2017 from 4p.m-7p.m. at the Byron Keenan Funeral Home and Cremation Tribute Center, 1858 Allen Street, Springfield, MA 01118. A church service will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 10a.m. at St. Michael’s Church, 128 Maple Street, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to: Rays of Hope or Baystate Health Foundation. Please visit www.byronkeenan.com
Rays of Hope c/o Baystate Health Foundation
280 Chestnut Street, Springfield MA 01199