Rynn Burke, RN, MD August 11, 1960 - April 24, 2021

Of St Paul, MN died April 24, 2021 from multiple cancers. Rynn (nee´ Kathleen Ann), age 60, grew up in Needham and Pocassett, MA. A brilliant internist, Rynn was also board certified in Pediatrics, Hospice and Palliative Care, and as a medical specialist in HIV. She adored making diverse connections and empowering patients.

A survivor of severe child abuse, Rynn fought neuroendocrine carcinoma since age 18, breast cancer, and finally myeloma. Initially she was a Pediatric ICU nurse at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In 2002, during her double residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, she was wheelchair bound due to spinal cord compression from a spine tumor.

In addition to being trained in Western medicine, Rynn was an herbalist and Native American healer. She was spiritually involved with her Wiccan community and the Oglala Lakota who named her Pabani Wakan when she was critically ill in 1978.

Rynn leaves behind her beloved wife of 25 years, Elizabeth Ellen Gilles, MD, dear friends Jean Anderson, Cheryl Gomsey, Laurie Rose and John Hersey, sister Lyudmila Islyamova and daughter Maritza Esquivel Garcia.

She is survived by her daughter Kelsey Marie Burke-Simpson, father William T Burke, brothers William L Burke and Robert A Burke, loving sisters-in-law Deb, Jeanne and Suzie, Gilles in-laws, amazing nephews and nieces, and numerous Reilly and Burke cousins, aunts and uncles.

Her second family provided lifelong belonging: Jean Anderson, Ellen Anderson, Marie Anderson, Mindy and Jay Pasco-Anderson, Andrew and Jamie Anderson, and Katie and Pierre Olivier.

Rynn credits her joy and survival to the immense love and support she received from numerous close friends, nurses, and colleagues.

She inspires us to fight fiercely for love. Mitakuye oyasin, we are all one family.

Saturday May 22, 2021 family and friends will gather to celebrate Rynn’s life at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 235 Wentworth Ave. W., West St Paul, MN 55118. Visitation at 1 pm CDT and service at 2 pm CDT.

Friends and family wishing to attend virtually may do so at https://afterword.com/stories/rynn-burke

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are welcomed to Save the Children or The Nature Conservancy.

 

 

Family and friends are gathering to celebrate Rynn’s life on Saturday May 22, 2021 at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 235 Wentworth Ave. W., West St Paul, MN 55118. Visitation at 1 pm CDT and service at 2 pm CDT. Friends and family wishing to attend virtually may do so at https://afterword.com/stories/rynn-burke

Condolences(3)

  1. REPLY
    Kelly Casey says

    My dearest Beth,
    What a wonderful tribute. Thank you for such a beautiful way of telling her story. Indeed a gift, and gone from us too soon. I walked my own path with the grief of losing my wife, and you two were there for us. I, and this amazing community you have gathered around you, will walk with you as well. Peace love and light surround you, sweet friend. We ARE all connected.

    • REPLY
      Sarah Mohs says

      What a beautiful service for a woman that had loved many! She was the best provider I ever had and to this day I regret not keeping in touch with her. She encouraged me to find my inner strength and become the best I could. On her last day at Healthpartners she sent me a letter via email I will hold onto that forever

  2. REPLY
    Sarah Mohs says

    What a beautiful service for a woman that had loved many! She was the best provider I ever had and to this day I regret not keeping in touch with her. She encouraged me to find my inner strength and become the best I could. On her last day at Healthpartners she sent me a letter via email I will hold onto that forever

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