Marion “Sue” Walch Stackpole Burke


Marion “Sue” Walch Stackpole Burke

“Sue” Stackpole Burke died peacefully April 20, 2019, in her Bangor home of the past five years. Although in declining health, even in her last days she managed to smile and joke, trademarks of how she lived her life.

Sue was born Nov. 4, 1927, in Hartford, Conn., to parents Wayland and Frances Walch. She graduated from Bates College in 1948, with social work being her main passion. In 1949, she married Lincoln Stackpole and they welcomed three children while living in Marblehead, Mass., Peter, David and Julie. In 1959, they moved the family to Maine, settling in Machias, a town that Sue called a “a piece of heaven.” She loved the salt air, fog, blueberry barrens and most importantly, the folks there.

She began working for the Department of Human Services in 1965 and traveled daily through Downeast Maine, serving clients for vocational rehabilitation. Widowed in 1977, she continued to work and in 1979 married Merrill “Jack” Burke, whom she had known since she was a youngster summering in Maine. When Jack died in 2003, Sue continued to invest herself in church activities, a childrenʼs program at the university, volunteering and weekends at “the lake” at Long Pond. She was an involved grandmother, a beautiful pianist and a smiling presence in the town.

She was a well-loved woman with a great sense of humor, a neighborhood mother who always had an extra chair at the kitchen table, a fair and patient person who always felt “this too shall pass.” She had a soothing presence, an optimistic outlook and a sense of treasure in the little things in nature and ordinary moments in life.

She is survived by her sons and their wives, Peter and Sharon Stackpole of Machias; David and Jane Stackpole of Trenton and her daughter, Julie Kingsbury of Brewer, treasured grandsons Joshua Kingsbury of South Portland and Bryan Stackpole of Brewer. She is also survived by her beloved brother and his wife, Allan and June Walch of Porter, Maine, and sister-in-law Nancy Coffin of Marblehead, Mass., and many generations of much-loved nieces and nephews. Dear friends include Sandy Mickel of Sorrento and so many of the Machias community. She was predeceased by her mother and father, sister, “Betty” Callahan, husbands Linc and Jack, and her dear friend, Ellen Huggins.

We are so thankful for the care, friendship, and support Sue received in recent years. These thanks include the compassionate staff at Sylvia Ross Home who laughed with Sue, cared for her as she faltered and still saw the original beautiful soul she was. Northern Light Hospice and Aging Excellence provided much needed physical and emotional support for all of us as well.

Services will be announced at a later date for late spring or early summer for those who would like to come and remember Sue. If desired, donations in her memory can be for the church that was the fabric of her life, the Centre Street Congregational Church, at Centre Street Church, P.O. Box 265, Machias, ME 04654-0265.

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