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Roger W. Burke '76

Roger William Burke, Jr., 67, passed away peacefully at his home on June 4, 2014, from complications of diabetes. Born on December 3, 1946, in Plainfield, New Jersey, Roger attended public schools, and graduated from Plainfield High School. He attended York College (Pennsylvania) where, in following his lifelong passion, he was an outstanding baseball player, before transferring to The George Washington University, where he received his B.A. Degree in History in 1970. He was among the first entering class at the Antioch College School of Law, (now the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law), from where he received his J.D. Degree in 1976. He also served for six years as a military police officer in the District of Columbia National Guard, receiving an honorable discharge. Roger had a distinguished career as an attorney devoted to public service. He commenced his legal career as a law clerk to the late Honorable Julia Cooper Mack of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He then represented the United States Government in the Office of the Solicitor, Department of Labor (Civil Rights Division) and the Department of Justice, Criminal Division (Organized Crime and Racketeering Section). He also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Criminal Division), Washington, D.C., during which time among many other roles, he traveled to Abuja, Nigeria on a special assignment with the Department of Justice to train prosecutors and investigators to ferret out Nigerian government corruption. Roger left Washington for a brief stint with the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Alabama, before returning to become the Chief of Staff to the District of Columbia Inspector General, where he was at time of his death. During Roger's tenure in service to the United States he received numerous awards for his meritorious achievements and sustained superior performance. In addition to being an avid baseball fan (his favorite team was the San Francisco Giants) and enjoying cooking a great meal, Roger loved to fish and would take every opportunity to follow his hobby, fishing in such places as South Padre Island, Texas; Houma, Louisiana; Gulf Shores, Alabama; the U.S. Virgin Islands and Costa Rica. Although he faced health and mobility challenges in the later years of his life, Roger remained determined to see them through, live a full life and was an inspiration to those who were close to him. Left to cherish Roger's memory are his daughter, Jennifer Leila Sloane and son-in-law, Adam Sloane, his granddaughter, Ella, his mother, Myrtle E. Burke, his sister, Beverly J. Burke; nephews Nathaniel and Benjamin Saunders, and a host of other family and friends. His marriage to E. Kathleen Shahan ended in divorce, but the two remained friends. His father, Roger W. Burke, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Gregory S. Saunders, preceded Roger in death. A memorial program and reception in recognition of Roger's life was held on Friday, July 11, 2014, at the Woodend Nature Santuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD. In lieu of flowers, you may make contributions in Roger's name to the Washington Animal Rescue League, 71 Oglethorpe Street, N.W, Washington, D.C. 20011, or to the American Diabetes Association (Attention: Dhonyale Metoyer), 1701 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 33211.