THOMAS EDWARD BURKE III passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in his home in Eagle Mountain, Utah on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. He was 44 years old. “Tommy” was born July 19, 1977 in Springfield, Massachusetts to George F. Burke II and WynJill Finau Burke-Tu’ifua. Tommy, known endearingly as Fatcat, spent his life all over the country but mainly in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas, California, and Utah.
In his early years, Tommy was his older brother George’s shadow. But he eventually grew into his infectious, larger-than-life personality. Tommy loved to share his various talents! As a young man, he took to hip-hop culture which gave him the opportunity to express himself through both art and music. He was a rapper (truly a lyrical genius), a writer, painter, woodworker, graphic designer—a master creator.
Tommy was always the funniest person in the room, regularly leaving those around him in tears. He consistently went out of his way to make others (often more reserved than him) feel welcome and important. Tommy was also an unapologetic “Momma’s boy.” He loved his mother immensely, and reveled in being spoiled by her.
Tommy served an honorable full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Denver, Colorado North Mission. He so loved his mission president, Myron Horne. Tommy later earned his Bachelor’s degrees in Business and Psychology at NC Wesleyan College and Master’s degree in Social Work at East Carolina University. He served as a Young Men’s President and was an influential mentor and youth leader, greatly impacting the lives of many.
In 2016, Tommy married the love of his life, Farrah, who in his own words was “all [he] ever needed, wanted, and dreamed of.” His heart and world revolved around his beautiful children. Despite his many talents and opportunities, he prioritized his family and spent his life delighting in their happiness. His nieces and nephews lovingly referred to him as their “Uncle Favorite.”
He is survived by his wife Farrah Cutler Burke and their ten children: Petiola Lomu (Finau; child: Moe), Poasi Manu (Tea; children: Farrah and Alice), Jaz Burke, Lanie Manu, Danny Manu, Luseane Burke, Mary Jane Manu, Mele Burke, Wynnie Burke, and Brooke Burke; his siblings: Kimberly Burke Flagg (Brett; children: Jason (Dallas; child: Araya), and Jade), Brooke Burke (children: Neriah, Sierra, Rain, Shaya), George Burke (children: Siaosi (Sam; children: Aiva, Ariel, Siaosi, and Tommy), Tommy Marie Meza (Nico; child: Kunu), and Kimmy), Teresa Kindrick (Juan; children: Etoni, Peyton, and Travis), Travis Tu’ifua (Yvonne; children: Olivia, Teise, and Teresa), Tatiana Finau (Soakai; children: Deuce, Alisi, Will, Melia, Mona, and Saula Joon), Alisi Mykel Outly, John Burke Craig (Maria; children: Isabella and Matthew), and Marlene McDowell (Roger; child: Paul (Sarena); grandchildren: McKenzie, Madison, and Maddox); and his mother WynJill Finau Burke-Tu’ifua and father Kamewa Tu’ifua. He is also survived by his countless cousins, aunts, and uncles; including his incredibly important father-figure, Sioeli Kauvaka (“Papa Joe”).
Tommy lives on in our hearts until we meet again. For now, we take comfort in knowing he has reunited with many family members including his maternal grandparents Mele Tilini and Saula Finau; and his younger cousin Lenny Si’i Muckle.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at the LDS chapel at 3930 West 7875 South, West Jordan, UT 84088. The family viewing will be from 8-11am, and the bishop’s service will be from 1130am-1230pm. Internment and graveside dedication will be held at the Sandy City Cemetery, 700 East 9000 South, Sandy, UT 84070 at 1pm. Wednesday’s funeral services will be live streamed (zoom link will be updated when available).
Please consider donating to the GoFundMe page created to help support Tommy’s wife and children: https://gofund.me/2e3c3465