The loss of Eileen Burke
Posted Tue, Oct 13th 2015, 13:57 by Patricia Sener
As many of you now know, our beloved friend Eileen Burke passed away a week ago Saturday after a long and brave battle with pancreatic cancer.
Eileen was a loving wife and mother, a dear friend to many, a devoted teacher, and a swimmer second to none. Those of us blessed to have known her were, and remain, touched in myriad ways by her warmth and intellect, her charm and devotion, her compassion, and her sense of daring do.
Eileen was at the very heart of CIBBOWS and embodied everything good about it. She was a trusted board member and capable leader who put everyone at ease with her calm, steady presence. She was also a skilled and fearless athlete. No stranger to epic swims, Eileen pushed the boundaries of excellence in the sport by crossing forbidding bodies of water such as Cap Cod, and attempting the English Channel under conditions frigid enough to dissuade most other swimmers from even trying. Despite her formidable skills and accomplishments, she never once abandoned the humble persona that was her hallmark.
Eileen was in this world far too briefly. Yet, she lived her years richly, and left behind a constellation of loved ones, friends and admirers who – from this day onward – will make gestures big and small to properly honor this gentle and gifted soul, and her life that lifted so many others.
As part of that constellation, we in the CIBBOWS community will soon begin making such gestures, and I will of course announce plans once they are made.
For now, I wish all of you peace, good health, and continued joy through our beloved sport.
Services for Eileen Burke will be at St. Ignatius of Loyola church at the corner of Park Ave. and 84th Street this Wednesday October 14th at 5:00 p.m.
Scattering of her ashes at Brighton Beach, so she will always be with us, is being planned for a fall weekend when Mo returns. Share a story about our lovely mermaid, swim in the ocean with the community she loved and dedicated her energies toward--all are welcome.
Love to you all,