Walter Spurgeon Burke, 91, a retired director of service enterprises at Howard University who later worked for the United Planning Organization, died of a heart ailment June 10 at the Washington Hospital Center. He lived in Washington.
Mr. Burke was born in Portsmouth, Va. He moved to Washington in the early 1900s and earned undergraduate and law degrees at Howard University. From 1922 to 1936, he worked in Alabama as the business administrator of the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Hospital, the first VA hospital for blacks. He worked for an appliance firm in New York before returning to Washington in 1942.
During World War II, Mr. Burke was employed by the old Defense Housing Corp. as the manager of Lucy D. Slowe and George Washington Carver halls, two hotels built for blacks who came to Washington to work in the defense effort.
After the war, the hotels became dormitories at Howard University, where Mr. Burke went to work as director of service enterprises. He retired in 1956. In 1966 he became the director of the UPO Metropolitan Washington Neighborhood Youth Corps. He retired for the second time in 1969.
He was a member of Frontiers Inc., a service organization.
His wife, Ruth F. Burke, died in 1977. Survivors include two daughters, Doris B. Browne of Washington and Mary B. Nicholas of New York City; five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.