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Dr. Robert W. Burke

Posted March 07, 2014 in Obituaries, Greene County

October 12, 1925- March 6, 2014

Bob Burke

Bob Burke

Funeral Mass for Dr. Robert Burke, 88 of Jefferson will be 10:30 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson. According to his wishes, following the Funeral Mass, his body will be donated to the University of Iowa, Department of Anatomy and burial will take place at a later date at the St. Joseph’s Cemetery.  Visitation will begin after 3:00 pm Monday, March 10, 2014 at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Center in Jefferson with a Rosary Service at 5:00 pm.  Visitation with the family will follow immediately after the Rosary Service until 8:00 pm.  There will be a Vigil Service at 8:00 pm following the visitation.  Memorials are suggested to the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Greene County Medical Center, or the Jefferson Park and Recreation Department and may be left at Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home in Jefferson.

Robert Wilfred Burke was born October 12, 1925 in Elkader, Iowa.  He was the seventh of ten children born to J. Francis and Josephine Burke.  He was raised and graduated from high school in Strawberry Point, Iowa.  Bob served in the Navy Air Corp. at the end of World War II.  He received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1953 and after an internship in Fresno, CA, he returned to University of Iowa for his surgery residency.

Bob is survived by his wife of 55 years, Rose Mary (Brunner); seven children:  John (Maureen), James (Maria), David (Audrey), MaryAnn (Hans-Peter), Stephen (Katie), Mary Elizabeth (Timothy), and Theresa (David); twenty-six grandchildren:  Robert, Matthew, Michael, Elena, Emily, Nathaniel, Sofia, Caleb, Joshua, Peter, Sarah Joy, Maria, Abigail, Vincent, Frederick, Hans-Peter, Isabella, Elizabeth, Ian, Maura, Marisa, Katherine, Daniel, James, Isaac, and Benjamin; and three siblings: Rosemary Dunn, Vincent (Joan), and Edward (Janice).

Bob practiced as a general surgeon and county coroner at the Greene County Medical Center for 36 years and helped to start the Jefferson Clinic (later part of McFarland Clinic).  Bob was active in the community through Rotary Club and served on the Boards of the Jefferson Community School, GCMC Hospital, and St. Joseph’s parish council.  He was a very active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.  He also worked in Mexico, Panama, and Kenya on medical missionary trips.  He was often seen on the tennis court.

Bob loved children and spent hours playing with his own as well as nieces, nephews, and many others.  He initiated RAGBRAI trips soon after its inception.  He also enjoyed ski trips in Colorado.  Bob taught many children to play ball, to do jumping feats on the trampoline, to maneuver the backswing at tennis, and to swim in the pool.

Bob spent his last days at his home in Evergreen Ridge surrounded by family and friends.  The family wishes to send their gratitude for the care received at Evergreen Ridge and from Homeward Hospice of Mary Greeley Medical Center.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, The Greene County Medical Center or Jefferson Park & Recreation Department.

Information provided by:
Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home
119 West Lincolnway
PO Box 108
Jefferson, Iowa 50129

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