Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Raymond Louis Burke, age 70

Raymond Louis Burke, age 70, of Sherwood, Arkansas passed away on March 27, 2024. He was the beloved son of James Ray Burke and Omelia (Lipscomb) Burke, born on September 9, 1953, in North Little Rock, Arkansas. On July 16, 1978, Raymond exchanged vows with the love of his life, Kathy (Phillips) Burke in Huntsville, Arkansas, making the beginning of a beautiful journey of marriage together.

Raymond was a loyal and loving husband to Kathy. In the same way, Raymond loved his boys, Chris, Jeremiah, and Austin, guiding them through life’s milestones with wisdom and encouragement. His heart swelled with pride upon welcoming his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Kobe, Allison, Wyatt, Rachel, Ryan, Paige, Parker, Hayden, and Harper. Along with welcoming two special daughter-in-laws, Stephanie Ray and Michelle Burke, into his family. He leaves behind his loving sister, Debbie (Pat) McDaniel of Sherwood, along with a host of nieces, nephews, extended family, and many friends.

Raymond retired after 42 years of hard work and dedication from Union Pacific Railroad. He loved his work – it was his calling. He was dedicated, compassionate, and always wanted to help others. If you knew Raymond, you knew of his love for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He was a member of Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church. Prior to attending Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church, he and his wife were members of Runyan First Baptist Church for over 30 years where they were in charge of the children’s program. In his spare time, Raymond enjoyed cooking, golfing, hunting, and being an avid gun collector.

To know Raymond was to love him. On the exterior, you would think he was quiet, but when he got to know you, watch out! We never knew what he was going to say. He was a kind and gentle soul, endlessly patient. Some called him a gentle giant.

Raymond is preceded in death by his parents, James and Omelia Burke and his brother Ronnie Burke. He is also preceded in death by two sons Chris and Austin Burke.

Raymond’s family was his world, and he will be missed dearly by those who held him close to their heart.

A visitation will be held to honor Raymond’s life on Thursday, April 4, 2024 at 9:30am with a funeral service starting at 11:00am at Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church. Interment to follow at Pinecrest Memorial Park.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Alvin L Herrington Posted April 1, 2024 11:50 PM

    Kathy and family, my prayers and condolences to each of you. May the Lord Wrape each of you with love and mercy during this difficult time. I am reminded a scripture, he has finished his race, he has kept the faith, he has run the race

  • Cathie Disterdick Posted April 3, 2024 10:35 AM

    Mindi and I are so sorry that we can’t be there for you. Raymond was a great friend to Phil. Now they are together again and probably getting into trouble. God bless you and your family. You are blessed.

  • Lois Chappell Posted April 3, 2024 12:54 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He was always so nice when we were around. He will definitely be missed. This world needs more good men like him

  • Bill & Teresa Peckat Posted April 3, 2024 3:51 PM

    We are so sorry for your loss. I worked with Raymond for many years from the MoPac days to the UP days. I am sure we agitated each other many times through the years. He was a great guy and I appreciated his leadership and his friendship. They will have a Railroad reunions in heaven .
    Until we meet again old friend.

  • Nancy (Montgomery) Trice Posted April 3, 2024 3:53 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss for you and your family! Praying that you will have the peace of the Lord and cherish all your memories!!!

  • Don and Diane Wise Posted April 4, 2024 10:27 AM

    Kathy, we are so sorry for your loss. We know Raymond’s transition to the other side was, for him, a blessed home going but for those left behind it leave a void that cannot be filled on this side of heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are truly with your family during this time of grief and loss. May God strengthen and bless you all.

  • Barbara Posted April 6, 2024 9:05 AM

    Kathy, so sorry for Raymond’sloss. You were so loving together and under difficult circumstances, love continued.

    You are in my prayers and they will continue. Know you are loved. As a widow when I was young, understand loss ..BA

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