We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Burns Mortuary of Pendleton
Elizabeth “Betty” Burke passed away from complications associated with a recent fall on May 28, 2022 at St. Anthony hospital in Pendleton, Oregon.
Betty (Tinethl was her Indian name) was born on February 22, 1955 to Margaret and Atway Richard Burke Jr., she grew up in Mission, Oregon as a young girl before moving to Athena, Oregon. She attended grade school at Washington Elementary, graduating from Weston-McEwen High School in 1973. She attended Eastern Oregon University earning her bachelor's degree.
In 1982, Betty gave birth to her daughter, Candice. She was overjoyed to be a mother and treasured her relationship with Candice. Her greatest joy in life was her family and friends. She was an avid fan of Lakers and Nixyaawii basketball. She enjoyed going to softball and basketball tournaments throughout the Pacific NW. She was the ultimate fan, she had friends (or made them) on every reservation she visited.
Betty was an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and resided in Mission, Oregon. Betty held many interests, she served on the Indian Health Commission and was one of the founding members of the BAAD tournament. She started working for the Tribe in the Education Department as the Adult Basic Education Coordinator for several years before moving on to the Johnson O’Malley Indian Education Coordinator at Washington Elementary. She considered each Indian child there to be her responsibility and looked out for them like they were her own. She formed many friendships while at Washington elementary.
Betty is best known for her Indian frybread, she started on the levy during the Pendleton Round-Up after Susie Moore and Lucille Quaempts retired. She looked forward to setting up at the Round-Up year after year. She traveled to local venues with her frybread and was well established as “Betty’s Indian Frybread.” She was a “giver” by nature and always offered to help. Purple was her favorite color, she had
an infectious laugh and loved to dance. She loved to travel and loved jewelry from the southwest, her collection of necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc. is something to behold. She made bags out of Pendleton wool and traded for silver and turquoise from Albuquerque/Santa Fe. She would often jump in the van and go on a moments notice.
Betty was preceded in death by her dad, Richard Burke Jr., paternal grandparents Lizzy Woods and Richard Burke Sr., Ellen and Bill Johnson. Survivors include her mother, Margaret Burke of Pendleton, her companion of 46 years, Larry Cowapoo, daughter, Candice E. Patrick (Zack) and her beloved dog Pugsley. Sisters; Becky Burke, Kelly (Gary) George (Quincy, Dillon, Megan), Julie “Dit” (Jr., & Sophie), Michelle (Patch), and Tracy Nelson. Brothers, Richard “Dude” Burke (Becky, Triston Smith), and Doug Zunke. Many special nieces, nephews, and cousins. Betty touched so many people, she will be missed every single day, the memories we have of her will live within us forever.