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Burke, Rose

Burke, Rose


BELLEVILLE / VERONA—Rose Burke, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister-in-law and friend, surrendered her soul to heaven at the age of 83 surrounded by her loving family on July 17, 2017, at Four Winds Lodge in Verona.

Rose was born on Dec. 16, 1933, to Elmer and Selma Johns, in the village of Lanesboro, Minn. She went on to graduate from Winona High School before starting her working career with the firm of J.R. Watkins. It was during this time that Rose met the love of her life and would-be partner of 48 years, Donald Burke, while Don was stationed at Fort McCoy. They were joined together by God on Sept. 26, 1953, and soon after moved to Belleville to begin their family.

Rose poured her heart and soul into being a mother, forgoing her career and staying home to raise her four daughters until they were all of school age. Not only did she ensure that her girls were well taken care of in their youth, but the door of the Burke house was always open to other kids in the neighborhood who needed a warm meal or a kind word. During their many years together, Rose and Don loved to fish, play cards, and bowl.

Once the girls were old enough, Rose returned to her career and became Head of Dictation at General Casualty Insurance. She lead this department for 13 years before moving on to the Law Firm of Morgan/Stewart, where she retired in 1996. Some of the happiest years of Rose and Don’s lives were spent during this time, cheering on their grandchildren in sports, traversing the back roads of Green County, searching for deer, or visiting the dog track. After Don’s passing in 2001, Rose returned to work part-time for Gordon Flesch. Rose spent her final years with the caring professionals at Four Winds Lodge in Verona, who became like an extended family to her.

Rose is survived, remembered, and celebrated by her daughters, Deb (George) Strick, Colleen (Gary) Gobeli, Terri (Keith) Bowman, and Cindy (Mike) O’Connor; grandchildren, Karen McDonald, Michael (Ryan Greene) O’Connor, Kyle (Jenny Bishop) Bowman, and Jamie Gobeli; great-grandchildren, Ryan Richards, Aleah, Aiden and Abigail Bowman, and McKinnley Bishop; sister-in-law, Betsy (Ralph) Jacobs; brother-in-law, Warren Bechly; grandchildren in her heart, Grace and Jared Schulting; a niece, and nephews

She was preceded in death by her husband, Don; parents, Elmer and Selma Johns; sister, Delores Bechly; sister and brother-in-law, Pat and Paul Ryan; and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Eleanor and Carlton Burke.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Rose’s church, the ZWINGLI UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST-PAOLI, 1338 County Road PB, Belleville, Wis. The Rev. Sara Rabe will officiate. Inurnment will be in the Belleville Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call from 10 a.m. until time of services on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at the ZWINGLI UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST-PAOLI, 1338 County Road PB, Belleville, Wis.

A special thanks to Lynn, Julie, Chris, and Jerica and all the staff at Four Winds for the love and care they gave to mom.

The Becker-Beal Funeral Home of Belleville is assisting the family.

An online memorial with guestbook is available at

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