Donald Burke, 84
Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:20am admin
Sept. 2, 1933 —
June 26, 2018
Cresco - Donald Joseph Burke, age 84, passed away Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at his home in Cresco, Iowa.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 20, 2018 at Notre Dame Church in Cresco. Friends may call one hour prior to the service.
Don was born on Sept. 2, 1933 to William and Alice (Bilek) Burke in the Elma, Iowa area and spent most of his life in Howard County, Iowa. He graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in Elma in 1951.
After high school, Don worked at Rath packing plant in Waterloo for a while, and then in 1952 he enlisted in the Air Force. He attended various schools and became a jet mechanic. He was stationed in an SAC base in Savannah, Ga. and at various times went TDY to Africa. On one of the trips to Africa, he was able to go see his brother, Norb who was located at a remote radar location. Don left the Air Force as a Staff Sergeant in 1956.
After leaving the service, he went home and helped with the crops. After they were out, he and a friend went to the San Bruno, Calif. area, where he worked as a jet mechanic.
In the spring, Don came back to Howard County and started farming with his father. While here, he met his future wife, Frances Van De Weerd. They were married on Aug. 30, 1958 and would have celebrated their 60th Anniversary this year. He continued farming with his father until his father sold the farm.
Don went to barber college in Waterloo, Iowa and also studied for his real estate license. After receiving his barber license, he worked in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Don and Fran purchased a farm northwest of Cresco in 1962, and he had his own barbershop in Chester, Iowa. In April 1964, he began selling real estate, and after a few years, he started his own company, Burke Real Estate, which continues today. He also went to auctioneer school in Mason City, Iowa and became an auctioneer.
Don loved to visit with people and enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, local wrestling meets and occasionally going to a casino. Most of all he enjoyed teasing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, making them laugh and slipping them quarters from time to time. He enjoyed family gatherings, especially Easter, so he could help the little ones hunt for Easter eggs. He also enjoyed being outdoors, planting trees, nurturing them and watching them grow and working at improving his pond.
He is survived by his wife, Fran; five children, Brenda (Mwaura Muruir) Burke, Mark (Becky) Burke, Laurie Burke, Scott Burke and Brad (Jen) Burke; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; brothers, Norb (Theresa) Burke, Jim (Judy) Burke, twin sisters, Murielly (Don) McAllister and Shirley Mihm; and numerous nephews, nieces and great-nephews and great-nieces.
He was preceded by his parents; an infant brother, Kenneth; an infant son, Brent; a grandson, Corporal Jarek Burke; brothers, William, Allen, Jack and Glendon; and sisters, Althea Fortune and Phyllis Dietrich.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to HOCA, Mills Family Cancer Fund, Howard County Hospice, Cresco Wildlife Club or a charity of your choice.