Rick Burka, 62, of Charleston, WV, won his battle against cancer Friday morning, July 24, surrounded by the love of his family as he received his prize in heaven greeted by all those who loved him that were already there. We decided that he left us at 7:30 because he had a tee time at 8:00 and he never missed a tee time.
His family was his whole world and he loved them unconditionally and took such good care of them. His wife of 32 years, Pam, will always cherish the time they had together and all the adventures they shared. His children learned so much from their dad that has made them into the amazing young people that they are – Josh “Dr. Bones” and his wife Sabrina, Mallory “Mal-Mal” and her boyfriend, Jacob, and his special furry children, Kona and Maverick. His sisters were very special to him and kept him in line – Karen of Culloden, Pat and husband Dave of Bradenton, FL, their boys Chris and Austin, and Jo and her friend, Diana, of Charleston. He loved the family he gained when he married Pam – father-in-law, Jerald Knapp and mother-in-law Dolores Knapp, Kerri and her husband David, their children Rachel and Alex, and Leon and his wife Barb, their children Christopher, Kara and Caleb. He also had many, many, many brothers from another mother all across the country (you know who you are!)
His parents, Bud and Diane Burka, raised an amazing man and his father always told him “you can do anything you put your mind to” which he passed on to his kids. His dad and mom left us but their lessons molded Rick into who he was and we are so thankful for them.
Rick loved his community and worked tirelessly to do everything he could to make it a home where all of our children would want to return to build their life and raise their families. He helped establish the Kanawha City Community Association in 2005 and was able to accomplish much of this goal through all the wonderful people through the years who worked with him. His work while on the Charleston City Council developed great friendships with so many and further helped him achieve his goals to improve the city he loved. He worked for 40 years in the insurance business where he helped his clients meet their needs always with a personal touch.
When Rick became sick, many things became very clear to him. First was that he needed to get his relationship with God in order and he did that by asking Christ to come into his heart on December 21, 2017. That decision guided him through this journey with grace and peace. Secondly, don’t put off anything for another day – live your life to the fullest every day. Lastly, hold everyone you love close and make sure you tell them you love them constantly.
There will be a celebration of Rick’s life 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, at Laidley Field. All are welcome to join us, rain or shine. There will be masks provided for those who don’t have one. If you want to join us in honoring Rick but don’t want to be in a crowd, you are welcome to stay in your cars in the parking lot and still be a part. According to Rick, we are not to wear black. He had a wonderful life and wants us to celebrate and not mourn.
In lieu of flowers, we would ask that you make a donation to the Kanawha City Community Association, P.O. Box 4423, Charleston, WV, 25364. Or plant a tree/shrub/flower somewhere to honor him.
To express condolences, please visit www.barlowbonsall.com.
Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.
- Date & Time: Jul 29, 2020 (7 PM)
Venue: Laidley Field