Costa Mesa, Ca.
May 4, 2021
Dear Family & Friends:
Sharon Smestad Burke is the love of my life. We met at Burbank High School in 1960. I was a senior and she was a junior. We married in my first year of college. In June, we will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary. Lisa joined our family while I was in college and Lori joined when I was attending Stanford Law School. Danny and Amy topped off our clan after we moved back to Burbank and I started practicing law in Los Angeles. The years have been overwhelmingly good to us. We have 4 children, 14 grandchildren and a brand new great-granddaughter. Our low point was the passing of our beloved 21-year old grandson, Danny Giger in a skiing accident in 2018.
Despite all the good times, age takes its toll on our weary bodies. Sharon is suffering from some serious medical issues that will require surgeries. As a result, I have cancelled my Missouri River canoe trip this month. My hope is to replace it with a pilgrimage walk on the Camino de Santiago in the late Fall, when Sharon has recovered from her surgeries. It is not yet clear whether Spain will be open to travel in the Fall and will allow flights from the United States. But, the prognosis is optimistic. If all goes as planned, I’ll paddle the Missouri in the Spring of 2022 in celebration of my 80th birthday.
God is Good!
Love you two!
Get well Sis.
Thank you Bill for sharing your life in this personal way. You are both lucky/blessed to have so many shared memories. Bless you and for your wife’s recovery.
I remember when you were dating Sharon. Those were fun, crazy times. I am praying for her health now. Give her a hug from me, and keep me posted. ❤❤
Congratulations on 60 years of marriage. I’m hoping that Jeff and I reach that milestone.
Our thoughts are with Sharon and you during her upcoming surgeries.
What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful wife and lovely family. Best wishes to you as you look forward to your 60th wedding anniversary. Prayers are sent from her childhood friend from Egeland, North Dakota for Sharon’s upcoming surgery and a complete recovery. We know first hand how powerful prayer can be. God is good
Bill&Sharon love&Hope is in your Journey & Tribute🔔for You &Sharon”Specialadventures”Rr an inspiration for all of us! Will🙏🏼for Sharon’&all her Surgery to be Good Report⚓ &CeleB* a Life Time abundantly BLesT.
Congratulations on your 60 years of marriage to Sharon. I wish Sharon a quick recovery from her surgeries.
I graduated from Temple City High School in 1960. Your haircut in your wedding photo sure brought back memories of the good old days. Sharon’s dress and hair style did the same. Those were great times.
Love this Bill! Happy Anniversary to you and your beautiful bride! Hope all goes well with her health. Sending much love and prayers to you both.
Congratulations on 60 years. We’re working on 52. Hope Sharon comes through all her medical issues with flying colors.
You two are an amazing couple! Praying for Mrs Burke! Much love you you both!
Bill, You continue to be blessed to be a blessing, which you are to so many! I appreciate the note about Burbank HS 1960. I was nearby at Eagle Rock HS 1959. Great times! Wonderful area of Los Angeles. Congratulations to you and Sharon!
Think you for sharing this. I wish Sharon well and congratulations on your anniversary
We will keep you two in our prayers as Sharon goes through her surgery. Congratulations on 60 years of marriage in June. I will be celebrating my 60th birthday in June. Melissa and I was looking forward to seeing you in Lexington MO. Our offer still stands for a place to stay and transportation the following year.
Wow. Love it all
Happy Anniversary to my First Girlfriend, Sharon Smestad. I still remember our first dance in the john muir cafeteria during lunch. The song was Chances Are by Johnny Mathis. Did she have an affect on me. She sure did. What a wonderful girl.
You have taken better care of her than I ever could have so I am very glad she made the right choice. By the way, the moment she showed me your picture and said his name is Bill Burke, your face has been sealed in my memory.
If you want a river traveler I would be up for at least a conversation about it
Please give Sharon a hug for me and tell her Lloyd is praying for her.
Congratulations on 60 years of marriage, my wife and I will celebrate our 44th this year, and I must say I really love and respect enduring marriages and solid old-fashioned family values. We are currently helping to take care of our first grandchild because we are fortunate enough to have the time as we are both retired.
Best wishes on your wife’s surgery!
Congratulations to you and your bride Bill!!Major prayers and hugs going your way!So good to hear from you….Gerry 🙏🏻😇🙏🏻
Congratulations on your 60-th anniversary!
Any chances for the Everest climb next year as the oldest climber?
Bill…congratulations to you two and an incredible 60 years of wedding bliss….wow!
You look just the same today….full of spirit and accomplishments!
Both of you have so much to be proud of and none greater than your fantastic family. Here’s wishing you both good health, and as they say in the mountains…..”keep on keeping!
John and Sioux
Sending both you and Sharon love, and my best wishes for Sharon’s quick recovery.
Having met my wife in high school, and having married immediately after undergrad school, we have a deep appreciation for the blessing the two of you have experienced. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon for a speedy recovery. The Missouri River, like the Mississippi, travels through our neck of the woods. Stay well.
I had to laugh when I saw the pictures Bill posted. Seems like yesterday but it was actually 22,265 days ago … and most of those days hold wonderful memories.
Bill has been enchanted since the very day he met you … I know cus I was with him that day more than 60 years ago.
I will pray for your speedy recovery so we can resume making every day count.
As you know, I’m here for you and Bill so don’t hesitate to call me if I can help in any way.
Love you both
What a wonderful beautiful reminder of how precious the Burke family is snd I have had the joy and knowing and loving all of you and my special friendship with Sharon has been the greatest we have always been there for each other and will always be the same . Your whole family is loved by all of us God is good and will protect all
Happy Anniversary to you and Sharon from Dave and I. We will be thinking of Sharon as she weathers her surgeries and hope she heals well and quickly. Wishing you both all the best.
Bill, you and Sharon have always been there for Kim and me. Sharon is my BFF and like my very own sister. We are praying that God will heal her and take away her pain. You and Sharon have created the most precious and loving family unit. Congratulations on your upcoming 60th. Another fantastic achievement!! Please let me know if I can help with anything. Much love to you both. 🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️
Bill , Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Sharon. MCC is a good place for rest. I’ve been through so many surgeries but managed to have 75 years of marriage before I lost Bob 3 years ago. A thought for you to do while she is recovering and Its close to home. The history of LA. I just read Pat Morrison’s account in the LA Times and thought of you having grown up in the area. There is so much more to tell..
Fabulous reflections as you and Sharon celebrate 60 years together ❤.
I love your sweet post! You and Sharon have always been one of my favorite couples. Your family has been an important part of my life from as far as I can remember. I’m sending love and prayers for Sharon to get the best possible care. Love you all.
Congratulations on 60th anniversary. Lots of love and best wishes to you and Sharon. From the Dorans Family in Bayonne and Saugerties❤️🙏🏻
Our prayers are with Sharon and you. It has been too long since we have been together.
Bill, Sharon and family,
I am so sorry to hear of Sharon’s health challenges, but having been a classmate of hers years ago back in Egeland, I understand completely about how “getting older isn’t for sissies”. I’ve so enjoyed following your adventures and family stories of the past years. Saying prayers for Sharon’s quick recovery and sending blessings to your family.
Hi Bill, I said a prayer for Sharon, to the almighty God for a quick recovery. Love your beautiful family, thank you for sharing the pictures!<3 (a handsome couple) Congratulations on your "60th" wedding anniversary in June.
Prayers for Mrs Burke🙏🏾 I Love and Miss You Guys❤️
Hello again from Canada…Congratulations on your upcoming 60th Wedding Anniversary..you certainly know about adversity and overcoming it in the best of ways. I am praying for your wife, and her post op recovery. My husband and I have just celebrated our 44th Anniversary back in February. He took a bad header off his bike 4 weeks ago, and detached his trapezius and deltoid muscles and completely tore his AC and CC ligaments in his Right shoulder along with shattering his wrist and 5th MC, so he just had life changing surgeries to both his shoulder and wrist and hand..so I am remembering your spill off the steps over the Christmas holidays a few years back and feeling for you all over again. YOU are such an incredible inspiration to myself and no doubt, many others. Depending on the COVID-19 situation in India next spring, myself and a good friend of mine (he has already done the EBC trek ) are planning to do it. He is a Pancreatic Cancer & Kidney Cancer survivor and has had his own life battles so I am so excited for the possibility of this dream becoming a reality..many thank again for keeping me inspired to go for it, and not allowing our age number to be anything but just a number. Stay safe, keep wearing your mask and socially distancing..hopefully you two have already received your Vaccinations. Up here in Canada, there is not anywhere near the resistance to having that done, thankfully.
This is so precious, beautiful & encouraging. My parents had a similar story. It’s so good to hear of others who share such a beautiful love story. We are praying for both of you & your entire family.
Thank you for sharing.
MANY CONGRATULATIONS BILL AND SHARON on 60 years of marriage, that’s simply amazing! Love that you were high school sweethearts!
Thank you for sharing your lives with us through this blog 🙂 Just finished watching your 2008 Banff video–I’m originally from Alberta and love Banff, so I was curious about it.. Loved seeing the mountains, and also all the USA parts too, just fantastic scenery! And I especially liked the part of the video that Sharon is in-showing all the hard work on the house that she had lived in, really lovely!
All the very best to Sharon for her surgery and for a speedy recovery. It’s always a bit daunting to have to go through this and especially during these times… sending lots of prayers and positive thoughts to her and for all of you!