Pita Burke, age 84, a longtime resident of Albuquerque, passed away on October 16, 2022, at her home surrounded by her family after eight years of fighting a rare blood disease (POEMS). She was born on March 15, 1938 in Nambe, NM to Herminio and Lucinda Sandoval. Pita graduated from Los Alamos high school in 1957 and moved to the big city (Albuquerque), where she soon met the love of her life, Franklin Burke, and they married in 1961.
Pita started work at Metropolitan Life Insurance and then secured a position with the Federal Government at Kirtland Air Force Base, where she worked until she became a stay-at-home mom to Michelle, Stephen and Cindy. After her youngest started kindergarten, she went back to work for the Social Security Administration and ended her career with the US Immigration Services. She retired in 1999 after 28 years of service.
Pita was very talented in ceramics and sewing and enjoyed several years of bowling on a women’s league. She enjoyed hosting family gatherings and attending her children’s dance and sporting activities throughout the years. She loved to dance and would often be the first one on the dance floor at weddings and other celebrations. She enjoyed traveling with Franklin after her retirement and was able to visit several places around the globe. She especially loved the time spent with her grandchildren and took pride in watching them grow up.
Pita was preceded in death by her parents Herminio and Lucinda Sandoval, brother Wilfred, sisters; Arabelle Sandoval and Pauline Hickerson. She is survived by her husband Franklin (Sonny) of 60 years, children; Michelle Garza, Cindy Viramontes, Stephen Burke and wife Khrystina; grandchildren; Diamond, William and Kennedy Burke, David Garza, Ella and Miguel Viramontes, Kyle, Zachary, and Madi; brothers; Danny (Rosie) Sandoval, Bill Sandoval, and Ed Sandoval; and sister-in-law Barbara Burke and Helen Burke Bernard.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the Hospice De La Luz team for their care and guidance during Pita’s last few weeks as well as the prayers, love and condolences extended to the family. A rosary will be recited on Monday, November 21, 2022 at 10:00 am followed by a Mass at 10:30 AM to be celebrated at San Felipe de Neri church in Old Town. To view information or leave a condolence please visit www.TrujilloFunerals.com.