Seventeen years later, he's still delivering mail to patients in the hospital, spreading his contagious joy.
"It's been inspirational," Michael Mathis, Burke's aid from Life Styles, Inc. said.
Though Burke has Cerebral Palsy and has trouble speaking, Mathis helps him out.
However, Mathis said he gets the better end of the bargain.
"He's got a calming effect on people as well. I'll get uptight about something and he just stays calm, gets us through it, it's very neat," Mathis said.
Burke earned a bachelor's degree in science, volunteers regularly and helps advocate for others with disabilities.
"He's kind of like Norm on Cheers. Everywhere he goes, everyone knows him."
The achievements earned him the Carol Hart Vision Award through Life Styles, Inc. a program designed to allow adults with disabilities lead independent lives.
Humbly, Burke said he was shocked and very honored to receive the award.
"He's positive every time I see him, always has a smile on his face, makes others smile. It's just a rewarding experience," Mathis said.
Burke's missions continue, bringing a few minutes of happiness to patients, one knock at the door at a time.
"If he didn't have compassion, he doesn't think he'd be where he is today," Mathis said.
To learn more about Life Styles, Inc. click here.