WEST PITTSTON — The late Nora Burke meant many things to many people throughout her life. She was a teacher, a mother, wife, and friend to many, and now she’s memorialized through a portable mural for all to enjoy.
Gail Humphrey, a native of West Pittston, knew Nora extremely well and considered the Burke family a part of her extended family. Her sister, Anne, is married to Nora and Bill Burke’s son, Patrick. After Nora passed away, Gail wanted to do something special in Nora’s name.
“I wanted to think of something that was meaningful to Mr. Burke,” Humphrey said. “For as much as loving as Nora was, her husband Bill has an infectious, enormously huge personality that the second you meet that man, you just feel loved and impacted by him. I wanted to do something meaning for him.”
Humphrey decided a mural would be a great and lasting item that people would enjoy and be reminded of Nora, who passed away on Sept. 21, 2020. She came up with the idea of something like wings painted on a wall, a style that is popular across the country, where people stand in front of it, creating the illusion of having wings.
She had a few locations in mind, but with the West Pittston Library, within steps of the Burke home, was the perfect location.
It was decided there wasn’t a suitable area on the building, so West Pittston Library Librarian David Bauman contacted Concept Interior Imagery, just a half-a-block from the library, to do the graphics and design work for a portable mural.
The result was a colorful butterfly with magical imagery in the background. Inscribed is “In memory of Nora Burke, who loved all things beautiful.”
“Mrs. Burke was very much into local architecture, historic homes, and gardening, and she took a lot of pride in her own home and that was a perfect saying for her,” Humphrey said. “In the future when people get their photo taken in front of the wings, that they feel that saying means them too — we are all beautiful.”
Bauman said he’s happy with the outcome of the mural, saying making the mural portable will come in handy for events outside of the library.
“I saw online of a portable mural on hinges and I suggested it to Gail,” Bauman said. “I told her we can take it out to the Cherry Blossom Festival, outside on our grounds for a book sale or any other fundraiser we have out of house.”
“Humbling. You don’t realize the beauty of people until something like this happens,” Nora’s husband Bill said when emoting his feeling on the mural done in his wife’s honor. “You don’t realize people are kind, it’s humbling. I married this girl 57 years ago and …….