Obituary of Carl William Burkey
Carl William Burkey was born in LaSalle, Michigan on January 17, 1945. He was one of nine children born from the union of the late Leo and Marie (Lajiness) Burkey Sr. He attended Custer Elementary and Monroe Middle School. As a young boy he spent many hours outside fishing and hunting making many memories along the banks of Otter Creek.
Carl wore many hats throughout his life. He was employed at the La-Z-Boy Furniture Manufacturing facility on Union Street in the 1960’s. He married the former Judy Fruchey in 1967 and the couple were blessed with three children: Amy, Arleen, and Carl. Carl worked in construction for many years as a union laborer, spending a great deal of time on Grosse Isle. In 1982, he began dating Donna Jeanne Burkey. He assisted her with operating her restaurant, D.J.’s Kitchen, cooking and performing maintenance, among other duties. Carl and Donna were joined in marriage at the Monroe County Courthouse on November 26, 1990. Sadly, they were both forced to retire from the restaurant business following a fire on March 15, 2000.
For many years he loved to hunt deer and small game. He also enjoyed being out on Lake Erie in his boat and salmon fishing near Oscoda. He was quite proud to tell a bad joke or to show off his gun and knife collection to any visitors to the Burkey home. Carl enjoyed gardening and each year looked to perform better than the previous. Many times, he solicited the assistance of his grandchildren to maintain and harvest the crop. He enjoyed hosting family get-togethers, shooting pool with guests, especially with Pooter, and without a doubt the title he appreciated most in this life was that of “Papa”.
Carl William Burkey, age 78, of Monroe passed away peacefully at 3:48pm on Friday; May 5, 2023, at Seacrest Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. His passing was preceded by his parents; a son: Carl James “Car” Burkey; a stepdaughter: Erin Renee Haynes; four brothers: Julius, Harold, Leo, and Hilton Burkey; and three sisters: Isabell Arnold, Beverly Kolver, and Shirline Hovizi.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife: Donna Jeanne Burkey of Monroe; two daughters: Amy Elaine (William “Willie”) Wilson of Monroe and Arleen (Anthony “Tony”) St. Bernard of Monroe; three stepchildren: Tammy (Brian S.) Merkle of Monroe, Kimberly Haynes of Erie, Chad (Holly) Haynes of Monroe; a sister: Maryanne (Joseph) Hess of LaSalle; thirteen grandchildren: Christina (Grace) Wojcik, Adam Haynes (Stephanie Staelgraeve), Tonilynn St. Bernard, Cody St. Bernard (Nicole Seelinger), Carly Lynn St. Bernard, Olivia, Merin, and Ethan Merkle, Kaitlyn Ellison, Dawson and Lauryn Younglove, Brendon and Tyler Haynes; five great grandchildren: Stella, Tanner, Ryder, Nash, and Cooper, and one on the way; numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews; and his three buddies who called him Papa: Landin and Garett Wells and Madox Daniels.
Friends may gather from 3:00pm until 7:00pm on Thursday; May 11, 2023, at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Celebration of His Life will take place at 7:00pm also at Merkle’s with Pastor Roy Southerland officiating. Private burial will take place at St. Joseph Cemetery in Monroe.
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