Gerard ‘Gerry’ Burke, at 83; maestro at Doyle’s Café in JP

Gerard Francis Burke, 83, of Canton, MA and formerly of Jamaica Plain, died peacefully on Feb. 16, at home, where he was surrounded by his family.

Fondly known as “Gerry,” Mr. Burke was the oldest of five children born to the late John P. Burke and Mary (Callahan) Burke. He was raised in Jamaica Plain and spent his youth working at the Refectory and Concession stands at Franklin Park along with his father and his siblings. He attended Jamaica Plain High School, Saint Francis College, and Portia Law School.

His work at the Park ignited his love of working with the public and connected to his love of Boston politics, its Irish history, and its tribal roots from across the sea, all of which propelled him toward countless occupational adventures and a successful career at the late and lamented Doyle’s Café on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain. He was a constant presence there for decades with his brothers and his son.

Mr. Burke defined the proud Boston Irish guy who was always ready to regale listeners with stories, real and mythical, of the old days. He was a magnetic life force who, at bottom, enjoyed being with people. But most of all, he loved being at home with his family members, who will miss his charm, wit, clever sayings, stories, and his constant love and support.

He leaves his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann; his son, Gerard Burke, and his wife Carolyn of West Roxbury, and their children, Paul, Catherine, Gerard and Mary Ann; his daughter, Margaret Glynn, and her husband Martin of Walpole; step-grandchildren Falan (Tracey) Glynn-Roulinavage and Kaylan (Matt) Rinehimer; and step-great grandchildren, James, Savvy, Remy. and Baker. And he leaves his siblings, Edward (Joni) Burke, Helen (William) Baird, William (Therese) Burke, and Francis (Mick) Foret.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Feb. 23 at Saint John Chrysostom Parish, 4750 Washington St., West Roxbury. Interment was in Saint Joseph’s Cemetery, West Roxbury.