Cover photo for Hiram Lee Burke's Obituary
Hiram Lee Burke Profile Photo

Hiram Lee Burke

d. January 22, 2017

Hiram Lee Burke

Hiram Lee Roberts Burke (Lee) died on January 22, 2017 at Delta Medical Center in Greenville. He was 64 years old. Visitation will be January 24, 2017 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church in Cleveland. A Funeral Mass will immediately follow. Lee was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, as well as a business owner, civic leader, community booster, education advocate, and historian. A lifelong resident of Shelby, Mississippi, Lee graduated from Shelby High School and then attended the University of Mississippi where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Lee continued his education at the University of Mississippi School of Law and upon graduating, he returned to Bolivar County and practiced as an attorney with Sillers, Roberts, Pearson & Eddins, in Rosedale. The firm later changed its name and also added a Cleveland office with Lee practicing in both locations. Lee then returned to Shelby and purchased the Roberts Insurance agency. He also joined his family's bank and after a few years became president of the Bank of Bolivar County. Upon the bank's merger with Southern Bancorp in 2014, Lee was named city president for Shelby. Lee's family was one of the early families that settled in Shelby. His family played a significant role in the town's development by establishing several businesses. Lee continued his family's dedication to the town and he was recognized as one of Shelby's most noted civic leaders. A cornerstone of Lee's life was helping improve Shelby's education opportunities. He worked closely with the Shelby schools on after-school programs and he was a volunteer for the Peer Power program. Lee and his family were also active supporters of Teach for America.
Lee was a past president of the Shelby Country Club, Shelby Rotary Club, and the Shelby Chamber of Commerce. He also helped establish the Dr. R.T. Hollingsworth Library where he served as treasurer. Lee served on the boards of Shelby Election Commission, Shelby Cemetery, and the Delta Innovation Foundation Board. His civic involvement extended beyond Shelby and Lee was a past president of the Cleveland Country Club and he served on other county-wide boards, and participated in a number of Bolivar County economic development initiatives.
Lee travelled all over the U.S., once living in Hawaii for a summer. His travels also took him to Australia and Scotland. Lee excelled in golf and when not on a golf course, his other lifelong hobby was researching and archiving Shelby's history.
Lee is preceded in death by his parents, Charles William (Billy) and Dorothy Lee Burke; his sister, Melody Burke; grandparents Hiram Lee (Buck) and Dorothy Roberts; and grandparents Earl and Alpha Burke. Lee is survived by his wife of 28 years, Carolyn Pongetti Burke; daughter Rikki Burke Rickels (Glen); granddaughter, Lily Todd Rickels, stepmother, Anita Burke; and numerous cousins. Lee dedicated his life to helping others without seeking recognition. He loved Shelby and he was a life-long learner and encouraged young people to achieve excellence in education. Pallbearers are: John Denton, Ike Brunetti, Henry Earl Long, Drew Long, Ronnie Malatesta, John Letchworth, Lyle Dilworth, Louis Radicioni, Louis Jackson, and Jimmy Long.
The family has requested memorials be sent to Cleveland Animal Shelter and Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson.

Visitation



1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church Bishop Road Cleveland, Mississippi, United States

Funeral Mass



2:00 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church Bishop Road Cleveland, Mississippi, United States
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hiram Lee Burke, please visit our flower store.

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