More than 50 years ago the two brothers were traveling in East Tennessee as sales representatives for Martha White Flour. They were in the Knoxville area when they had the occasion to hear Flatt and Scruggs stringing a banjo and playing a guitar and entertaining an audience on what they then described as a school picnic and pie circuit tour.
While the Burke brothers will be long remembered as two of Martha Whites top salesmen, they will always be recognized for their discovery in 1953 of Flatt and Scruggs.
Mr. Burke was a lifelong farmer and a member of First Baptist Church.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Efford and Chester Burke. He was to be presented an Honorary Masters Degree in Military Science on May 8, 2012 at Cumberland University.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mildred Juanita Helton Burke; daughter Connie Colbert; granddaughter Ashley Shannon Colbert; and a niece Patricia Kopp -- all of Lebanon.
Active pallbearers: Bobby James, Randy Dewitt, Billy Thorne, Jimmy Bennett, James Grisham, Jason Ash, and Joey Ash.
Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home of Lebanon in charge of arrangements.