Thomas E. Burke

Thomas E. Burke, 66, a former oceanographer with the Bureau of Land Management who later became an independent courier, died Oct. 25 at his home in Alexandria.

He had bile-duct cancer, his sister Kathleen Hurley said.

Mr. Burke worked in the offshore oil-drilling section of the Bureau of Land Management from 1971 to 1986. Later, he worked as an independent contractor, most recently as a courier.

Thomas Edward Burke was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Indiana. He was a 1967 graduate of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. He served in the Army from 1968 to 1970. He received a master’s degree in oceanography from Texas A&M University in 1974.

Mr. Burke was a board member of the Fairlington Villages Condominium Association and volunteered at Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria.

His marriage to Marjorie Zadra ended in divorce.

Survivors include Kimberley Burke of Washington, a daughter from a relationship with a longtime companion, Cathyrn Boles; his mother, Thelma F. Burke of Lake County, Ind.; and three sisters, Barbara A. Berzinis of Lake County and Carol J. Patrick and Kathleen M. Hurley, both of Fairfax County.

— Matt Schudel