Lillian Mae Burke, 70, of Riverview Haven, Rock Falls died at CGH Medical Center, Sterling on January 1, 2021. Lillian fought the Covid-19 pandemic for 5 days until her body didn’t have the strength to fight any more. Lillian expressed her undying love and passion for work at Self Help Enterprises for over 40 years.
Lillian was born on February 14, 1950 in Tampico, Illinois to John William and Mary Eileen (Long) Burke. Lillian attended Tampico Grade School and was a 1969 graduate of Newman Catholic High School. She accepted her cross of physical and mental challenges. Lillian carried that cross courageously throughout her life and climbed up that path to Heaven and into the warm embrace of her mom and dad and her namesake, Grandma Lillian Burke. When Lillian was younger, she participated in Special Olympics tournaments in Chicago. She won several ribbons for 1st and 2nd place in running events. Lillian enjoyed being around family and especially enjoyed her nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Lillian was extremely proud of being a Godmother to her niece, Shawn (Blaul) Hernandez. Lillian had the most beautiful white hair and the best laugh. She will always be remembered for her audible enjoyment of movies, especially old comedies. Lillian was hardly ever seen without a Word Search book in her hands. She loved to sing and was a member of the choir at Self Help. Lillian cherished the staff and housemates at Riverview Haven.
It was an honor and a privilege to have called her Our Sister.
Lillian is survived by her brothers, Dick (Cindy) of Santa Rosa, CA, Tom (Mary) of Lewisville, TX, and John Burke of Osceola, IN and her sisters, Mary Blaul of Largo, FL, and Kathy Cebra of Elkhart, IN.
Lillian was preceded in death by her mother and father and her brother-in-law, Mike Cebra.
Cremation rites have been accorded with the McDonald Funeral Home in Rock Falls and internment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Tampico. A Celebration of Life will occur at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Self Help Enterprises, Sterling, IL in her memory.