Robert Arthur Burke, age 91, of Janesville, Wisconsin passed peacefully early Wednesday morning September 27, 2017. He was surrounded by his loving family in his son, Jim’s, home during his final days. Bob Burke was born on November 2, 1925 in Virginia, MN. His family moved to Duluth, MN and then to Cudahy, WI during the Great Depression. Bob graduated from Cudahy High School in 1944. He served as an electrician in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946 on the Island of Saipan during WW II. Following his Honorable Discharge, Bob graduated from the Milwaukee State Teachers College in 1950 and received his Master’s Degree from UW- Madison in 1951. Bob was a teacher in the Janesville public schools for 37.5 years. He was a man of boundless energy who worked hard all of his life. In addition to teaching elementary school, he coached many after-school sports; did janitorial work during school breaks; was a camp counselor during the summer breaks; and delivered pizza evenings and weekends. He received many awards and accolades during his teaching career.
Bob loved life; loved to sing; loved to sail; and loved to dance. Most of all, he loved his wife and eleven children. Bob always had a joke or poem for every conversational topic. He truly enjoyed expanding his worldly knowledge. After his retirement in 1990, Bob traveled to many foreign places. He always had a sparkle in his eye as he shared what he learned about different cultures and countries. Bob sang in church and community choirs throughout his life and enjoyed playing many musical instruments. He especially enjoyed singing and performing with the Troubadour Choir in his later years. Bob was a member of the Janesville Kiwanis Golden K for 12 years; the Janesville Eagles Club for 3 years; and a lifetime member of the Janesville VFW. His life motto was “Be nice; be good; and don’t be stupid”.
Bob is preceded in death by his father, Robert Francis Burke, his mother Jane Fisher Burke, two brothers, Richard and William Burke, a sister, Elaine Nault, his loving wife of 52 years Myrtle Eilene O’Kelly Burke his son, John Edwin Burke, and his son-in-law, Dennis Metzger. Bob is survived by his sister, Genevieve Burke; ten children: Carrie (Gary) Glover, Patricia (Thomas) Schraeder, James (Apple) Burke, Michael Burke, Eilene (James) Schroeckenthaler, Holly Metzger, Adair (Richard) Moccero, Kathleen Burke, Susan (Timothy) Custer, and Robert (Darcy) Burke; twenty-one grandchildren: Paula French, Nathan Glover, Juliet (Dason) Whitsett, Jeremy (Carolyn) Schraeder, Michelle (Kenneth) Patterson, Richard Santiago, Bridget Burke, Justin Burke, Felicia (Isaiah) Fisher, Jennifer (Steven) Cairns, Christine Schroeckenthaler, James Schroeckenthaler, Nicole (Daniel Lemos) Cordeiro, Charles Metzger, Casey Moccero, Christopher Schmidt, Clayton Custer, Nolen Custer, Audrey Burke, Lydia Burke, Norah Burke; nine great grandchildren: Jacob Hazen, Kai Pang-Whitsett, Sequoia Whitsett, Fischer Whitsett, Chloe Schraeder, Hazaiah Patterson, Zev Patterson, Mason Cairns, Lila Cairns, and one on the way due in December 2017; many nieces and nephews, and his fiancé of fourteen years, Eunice Harvey.
Those wishing to send honoraria in lieu of flowers can send donations to: Camp Whitcomb/Mason w294 N. 8436 CAMP WHITCOMB Rd. Heartland, WI 53029 in honor of Robert A. Burke.