Published: May 2, 2021

IN MEMORIAM: DUANE BURKE, Founder, Public Gaming Research Institute, Inc.

Dear Friends, We are saddened to share the passing of our dad, Duane Burke. He had a very quiet end with no pain. He had a big smile on his face, exhaled and was gone (we think he saw Mom greeting him).   

In Memoriam Duane V. Burke of Washington State and The Villages, Florida passed away on Friday, April 30, 2021, just seven days shy of his 90th birthday.  Duane lived an accomplished and adventurous life, starting new businesses, writing books, travelling, and raising two children with Doris, his wife of 65 wonderful years.  He earned a BSEE Electrical engineering and computer science degree at the University of Washington and worked at The Boeing Company for 20 years in Industrial Engineering and was a Senior Computer Engineer. 

In 1971, he and his wife Doris founded the Public Gaming Research Institute, Inc. (PGRI), a Publishing and conference management company for the world lottery industry that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.  Duane and Doris held conferences around the world in 64 countries.   He was a registered lobbyist for the North American Association of State Lotteries from 1974 to 1980.  In 2006, Duane and Doris started the Goals Learning Institute which published educational books for children; specializing in setting goals. 

Duane is survived by his daughter Susan Jason and her husband Paul; son Stephen Burke and wife Anne; grandchildren Nicolle Meyers (Matt), Julie Drozdov (Brian), Robert Burke (Greer); and great-grandchildren Ella, Jack, and Lillian.  Duane was also very close to Doris’ side of the family from Topeka,  Kansas, Dan (Chearie), Keary (Peggy) and Tracie; the Donaldson's.  Duane had been lovingly cared for over the last four years by a family who he came to think of as his own family. 

Special appreciation to Isoa and Eta Kanaveilomani (and their three daughters) for the loving kindness they always showed to Duane and for now being a part of the Jason's family.  Duane’s beloved wife Doris passed away in 2014. 

A visitation for Duane will be held on Tuesday, May 4, at Hiers-Baxley Funeral and Life Event Center, 3975 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages, FL.  Duane will be buried with his beloved wife Doris at Sunset Hills Memorial Park, Bellevue, WA (specific date TBD).  Duane lived a wonderful life. His warm smile, kindness, generosity and love  were such a blessing for everyone, and his spirit will always shine brightly in our hearts.

Duane was beloved by many friends through the years.  We asked Rebecca Paul Hargrove (President & CEO Tennessee Lottery and President of the World Lottery Association (who first met Duane in 1985 and was a close friend ever since) to share her remembrance of Duane.   Rebecca: Duane served as a mentor for dozens of lottery directors, myself included. He provided training and educational opportunities when none other existed in the US. Whenever a new state or country decided to assess whether to implement a lottery, Duane and Doris were the first they would call. Many of the businesses with a new idea for our industry which are providing services today, are doing so with the help and guidance given by Duane.  For Doris and Duane, it was never as much about business and “the industry” as it was about people, connecting with people and helping wherever and however they could. The list of their accomplishments is lengthy, including the creation of PGRI and its magazine, representing the early association of lotteries (NASL) as a lobbyist on Capitol Hill and state capitols, the creation of the first industry conferences and trade-shows, the founding of the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame and Lottery Industry Lifetime Achievement Awards, and founding a Guatemalan company to operate video lottery and generate funds for children’s health programs. But it was always really about the people and the Good Causes supported by government lotteries. Whenever anyone needed a pep talk, the Burke’s were there. Their generosity was legendary. But what I will miss the most is his smile and the twinkle in his eye whenever Doris was near. 



2:30 pm EASTERN Time, Tuesday May 4 To Join Zoom Meeting, Click Link:

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