A Celebration Honoring Dusty’s Life

Please join us on Saturday, February 20, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Sherborn, MA, to honor and celebrate the life of our father, Dustin Mahlon Burke, who died peacefully on February 16 in the comfort and care of his five children, Dusty, Jr., Karen, Kelly, Joanna, and Bobby, and his sister Joanne and brother-in-law Norman.


UUAC at First Parish
11 Washington St.
PO Box 158
Sherborn MA 01770


17 thoughts on “A Celebration Honoring Dusty’s Life

  1. To Dusty’s spirit
    Larger than Life
    Sweeter than pie
    More funny and cute than any boy
    Raised such beauty with such joy — great father and friend!
    Leaves a legacy of love and kindness
    And to all the “Dustys” in each of us,
    let’s dance for Dusty spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dusty Burke, what a wonderful man. I truly adored him. Who can forget that impish smile and quizzical expression. He loved his family and was really dedicated to helping so many financially struggling students in an efficient and friendly way. I am so proud to say he was my mentor and lifetime great friend. I’ll never forget our first meeting in the Student Employment Office in August 1959. For all sorts of reasons, we immediately hit it off and discovered the appropriate first job as head of the distribution of refreshments in the football press box. Then it was running Europe By Car followed by HSA assistant general manager. I don’t know how he did it, but through his efforts I got into The B School. During this time Dusty introduced me to golf and I can still remember hitting golf balls on the Harvard athletic fields with him. Dusty didn’t brag, but he did mention a few times that playing golf for Harvard he did beat Paul Harney during the Holy Cross matches. (Harney became a tournament winner on the PGA Tour.) Over the past several years we played golf together many times, both here in Naples and at Dedham. I always reminded him of the time during a member/guest at Dedham when he committed the cardinal sin of saying one of the opponents was not going to be a factor. This 20-handicapper had gone 10 over par after the first four holes, so Dusty whispered that we can forget about that guy. I jumped on Dusty by saying that thought is the kiss-of-death. Sure enough, the guy went gross par, bogey, par, birdie and we lost all those holes. Fortunately, we did pull it out on 18 and won the flight. So many fond memories! Rest in peace my great friend with that impish smile on your face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, these are such wonderful memories and thoughts to share with us! He spoke so fondly of you – and he loved playing golf with you! Thank you so much for telling us all this!


  3. To the Joanna & the entire Burke family,
    My deepest condolences to the family. I have to say he was a wonderful man with a wonderful family! To see how much he was loved was such a blessing. Also what a great tribute this website is to him. Beautifully done!
    God Bless, & may all the great memories you have of times spent together keep you strong during this time.
    Nikki McManus


  4. I was a travelling editor for “Let’s go Europe ” in 1971. HSA gave students like me a chance to work and see Europe. It was a truly memorable job and I greatly enjoyed the chance to be a travelling editor. Craig Coit


  5. Dusty helped me to get involved in HSA early in my time at Harvard, and the organization played a major role in providing me with the financial resources I needed to complete my degree. The work I did for the Calendar Agency, Sampler Agency, and Information Gathering Service not only paid well but also provided me with invaluable skills. I also served on the Board of Directors. I never met anyone with more patience and willingness to provide wise counsel to young people than Dusty. It is sad to say goodbye to a great friend, but he leaves a wonderful legacy and he made a huge difference during his lifetime.

    Frank White ’66


  6. As founder of Let’s Go and former President of HSA I have so many memories of working with Dusty. We had plenty of travails and plenty of successes.

    Dusty was totally dedicated to HSA and the students. He provided maturity and judgment. He was calm amid the storm. With Dusty we were able to overcome many obstacles. Let’s Go became a great success even to today. The charter flights took thousands to Europe and HSA provided income and experience to so many. (Even Olly Orbit can rest in peace)

    So many Harvard students can thank Dusty Burke. I remember my HSA experience with pride. Dusty was so much a part of that as he was for so many others.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

    Oliver Koppell


    1. Dusty Burke made my Harvard education real first through Stadium Services, then through Ollie Orbit, the Watson Rink Concession, and finally the Catering Agency. After I graduated he supervised me as we implemented the College Work Study Program at Harvard while simultaneously establishing Teen Age Employment Skills (TEST) Inc., the first Neighborhood Youth Corps contractor in Cambridge. Finally, he recommended me for the position of Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Tufts which was my initial position in the rewarding field of college student affairs.
      Dustin Burke was a fountain of ideas, energy and inspiration. I am truly fortunate to have had his guidance. Hail and farewell to a truly fine man.


  7. Uncle Dusty was a force indeed. I remember climbing Mt Monadnock with him, tied at the waist with a rope to all the cousins…I remember the early morning swims in the lake when I stayed overnight in the tent. He was always loving & generous in spirit to his nieces & nephews
    Goodbye good man. RIP, love Jaye.


  8. When I graduated in 1968 and was uncertain of how to spend a gap year between College and HBS, Dusty came to my rescue and offered me the opportunity to work full-time in the HSA Publishing Division alongside its student managers. I had worked as a Let’s Go travelling editor in the UK during previous summers so I was familiar with the organisation. During my time at HSA and with Dusty’s encouragement and support we managed to launch several new titles where we were able to receive sponsorship sometimes through Dusty’s extensive list of business contacts.
    I will always remember him as someone who always had a smile on his face and for whom the glass was always half full (or even more). I shall ever be thankful for having known him and for the start he gave me.

    Jim Baker ’68 MBA ’71
    HAA President 2003-4


  9. That was a lovely service for a lovely man you all put together in such a short time. Whether you called him Dad or Grampy, he would be very proud of you.


  10. Thank you for all that you did for the HSA family. Many people, including myself, were able to have a better life because of the work you did to make HSA an institution at Harvard. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and all those touched by you. Rest in peace knowing the impact you had.


  11. My time at Harvard was very much defined by my involvement with HSA as a Manager, VP, and board member from 1995-1998. I never had an opportunity to know Dusty personally but am extremely grateful for the impact he and his legacy had on my college experience. May he rest in peace.


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