Reinette Jeanine Burke

PORTLAND – Reinette Jeanine Burke passed away quietly in Portland on May 18, 2020, at the age of 91. The daughter of William and Alice Shevenell, Reinette Jeanine Shevenell was born in Biddeford and raised in Dover, N.H. She moved to Portland after high school to work in the accounting department of Bell Telephone and to start a family. Reinette worked for “Ma Bell” and its various incarnations for almost 40 years.For most of her adult life, Reinette resided on Pillsbury Street in South Portland. Reinette was a hard-working, dedicated and loving mother, raising four boys mostly by herself. Being a wonderful mother and the family breadwinner is always a big task, but this was monumental, especially for a woman, back in the 1960s.Reinette’s kindness and generosity are her greatest legacies. She always found it in her heart to be kind and generous, even when experiencing some hard knocks herself. Her passions were kids and dogs. She couldn’t help but love and hug kids, first her own, then her grandchildren, and then her great grandchildren. She also adored all the dogs that she had through life, but especially her beloved Pomeranian “Willie.” Reinette was not soft though. She got tough when she needed to be and could always be counted on to help a family member in trouble. She was the rock of the family and a role model to us all.Reinette thoroughly loved family get-togethers and playing games, especially cards. Nobody could beat her at poker. She was a smiling, laughing card shark, happy to walk away with all the nickels in everybody’s piggy banks. Reinette was an avid bowler for about 50 years, whooping it up with her friends at least once a week in the bowling leagues, mostly at the Big 20 in Scarborough. One of Reinette’s favorite treats was lobster rolls and her sons always enjoyed treating her to lobster roll outings in her later years. Those outings will be greatly missed!Reinette’s family would like to thank the staff and healthcare workers at Fallbrook Woods, Portland for the kind care they provided Reinette in the twilight of her life.Reinette was predeceased by her loving husband, John Burke.She is survived by her four sons, Kenneth Jack, Stephen Jack, Brian Jack and Davis Jack, and her four daughters-in-law, Joyce Jack, Ann Jack, Theresa Jack and Kymm Jack, all of whom truly adored her (that’s right, they loved their mother-inĀ­ law). She is also survived by six grandchildren, Amy DiRenzo, Kevin Jack, Brian Jack, William Jack, Cameron Jack and Alice Jack, all fully grown now, and all well cuddled by Reinette in their youth. Reinette also leaves behind two great-grandchildren, Reed and Finley DiRenzo, two squeals of delight that brought Reinette much joy in her later years.Reinette’s passing will be honored in a family celebration of her life, at a later date. If you wish to honor Reinette, you need only practice the type of kindness and generosity that she espoused throughout her life. As one of her grandchildren noted, they don’t seem to make people today as kind as she was. She did set a very high bar in that regard. We, her family, will continue to try our best to emulate the legacy of her kindness and generosity in all that life has left for us. Reinette will be dearly missed. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of South Portland. To view Reinette’s obituary, or to share an online condolence, please visit

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