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Charles's Story

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Charles O. Burke age 96 of Clinton passed away Sunday, November 26, 2017 at Mercy Living Center North. In following Charles wishes cremation rites have been accorded. A gathering of family and friends will take place from 11:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Pape Funeral Home. A memorial service will begin at 1:00 P.M. with burial to follow in Clinton Lawn Cemetery.

Charles was born June 10th, 1921 in Clinton, Iowa, to Charles and Ella Burke. He attended grade school at Almont and Hauntown schools and then went to Lyons High School where he graduated in 1937. Charles married Lois Maxine Corlis on February 20, 1944, in Miles, IA and they farmed in the Teeds Grove area. While still farming, Charles took a second job with Tuner Electric of Clinton. There he learned the electrical trade and eventually left Turners to start Burke Electric which he owned and operated for over 30 years.

Charles was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Miles where he held a number of church offices. He was a member of the Bellevue Masonic Lodge #51, a 75 year member of the Clinton Western Star Lodge #100 and the Shriners. Charles was also a 65 year member of the Clinton Scottish Rite Bodies. Charles greatest passion in life was singing and playing his guitar, harmonica, accordion and banjo. Many evenings were spent singing and playing music after dinner with his family. Early in his musical career he played at local bars and dances. While performing at one special Farm Bureau dance he met his future wife, Lois. He must have sung pretty well that evening! Later in life he entertained at local nursing homes by playing the guitar and singing. He spent all of his life on farms close to the Mississippi River and enjoyed boating and water skiing with family. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and horseback riding with his children. Early in his life, Charles enjoyed playing baseball with local teams.

Surviving Charles include son, Alan Burke (Becky) Ft. Collins, CO; his daughter, Gail Levsen (Charles) Clinton, IA; his grandchildren, Erin Burke, Katie Burke (Ft. Collins, CO) Scott Huling (Jennifer) Andover, IA, Megan Brunscheen (Dan) Monticello, IA; and great grandchildren, Nora Huling, Lauren Brunscheen, Reed Brunscheen. Charles was preceded in death by his mother, father and wife, Lois.
Published on November 28, 2017
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