Charles J. Burke dies at 86
Charles J. Burke, age 86 of New Hampton, passed away on Friday, June 9, 2017, at New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton with Msgr. Carl Schmitt celebrating. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton. Military Rites will be provided by New Hampton American Legion Post 38.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at Holy Family Parish gathering space in New Hampton. There will be a 4:30 p.m. rosary and a 7 p.m. scriptural wake service. Visitation will continue at the gathering space one hour prior to the funeral mass on Wednesday. Online condolences for Charles’ family may be left at www.conway-markhamfh.com. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Charles J. Burke was born April 29, 1931, to Leo and Loretto (McEnaney) Burke in New Hampton. He attended country school 7, St. Joseph’s Community School and graduated from New Hampton High School in 1948. Upon graduating, Charles went on to Iowa State Teacher’s College (UNI) to receive his teaching certificate. Charles taught country school for a short period of time prior to being drafted into the US Army where he entered into basic training on January 10, 1952 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Thereafter, he served his country as a Corporal in New Ulm, Germany, for Post World War II peacekeeping during the Korean Conflict. He received the German Occupational Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. While he was in Europe he traveled to Rome, Paris, Naples, London and Dublin. When Charles returned home he began his farming career along-side his father and uncles. It was on a blind date that he met his future and loving wife, Marcella. The couple was married on August 20, 1960, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Protivin. Charles and Marcella made their home on the Burke family farm, which was established in 1919, where they raised their two children, Craig and Michele. The couple entertained often and were founding members of a neighborhood card club. When their children were grown Charles and Marcella opened an in-home daycare. He was an active member in New Hampton, serving for several years on the St. Joseph’s Parish Council and the St. Joseph’s Community School Board. He also served on the USDA County Committee for 16 years and was a member of the New Hampton American Legion Post 38. Charles retired from farming in the late 1990’s. Charles had a passion for architecture, especially the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. He proudly designed and built the home where he and Marcella retired. Aside from architecture, Charles was an avid fan of music, particularly Big Band. Traveling continued to be a favorite past time for the couple as they saw architectural works, music concerts and especially, family. During his retirement, he enjoyed many area community celebrations and attended parades and fireworks. Charles also spent many hours learning to play his favorite songs on the keyboard. He loved performing keyboard for others in the community.
Left to cherish Charles’ memory is his wife of 56 years, Marcella Burke of New Hampton; his children, Craig (Donna) Burke of New Hampton and Michele (Alan) Kirkdorffer of Harrisonburg, Va.; his grandsons, Jeremy, Joshua and Jordon Burke and Bradley and Ross Kirkdorffer; the couple’s daycare families: Tenge, Denner, Sorenson, Mai, Hageman, and his extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Loretto Burke; two infant children; and two brothersin-law, Larry Voyek and Matt Miller.