Troy Burke, 94, long-time resident of Limestone County, passed away peacefully in Mexia after a brief illness on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012. Services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Blair-Stubbs Chapel in Mexia with Bro. Fred Sain officiating. Burial will follow at the Prairie Hill Cemetery.Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Blair-Stubbs Funeral Home.
Troy was the second of five sons born to the late Horace W. and Della (Holland) Burke. He lived in Limestone County near the farming community of Frosa, Texas, where he went to school. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army with the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion as radio operator, gunner and driver according to the immediate need and participated in five major campaigns. First landing in North Africa, and crossing over into Italy, France, Germany, and finally into Austria, the battalion logged some 550 days of action. Troy received the Bronze Star and medals for Victory in World War II, Combat Infantry Badge and Good Conduct. Upon returning from Europe, he bought land with the G.I. Bill and began farming and raising cattle, a life-long pursuit. Like so many returning men anxious to put the war behind them, Troy's life was defined by work. Even though working the land was a sun-up to sun-down job, he began to do carpentry work in surrounding areas as a more reliable source of income. Retiring in 1982, he spent the rest of his life raising cattle. Growing up on a black land farm during the Great Depression, Troy came to know the value of "use it up, make it do, do without" and he did. He never forgot working for a dollar-a-day. For those that knew him best, Troy's death marks the passing of an era. Having never married, Troy came to know the Lord late in life and was baptized at the Prairie Hill Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Elvin Thomas Burke, Delmar Lee Burke and Clifton Lewis Burke; sister-in-law, Ernestine Burke; and nephew, Jerry Don Burke.
Troy is survived by his brother, Glen Ray Burke and wife, Frances; sisters-in-law, Mary Beth Burke and Jean Gatlin; five nieces; one nephew; and numerous other relatives and friends.