Betty Burke

 Betty Burke passed away quietly on her 75th birthday on July 4, 2019, at her home in Jordan, MN.  

A garden celebration honoring Betty’s life will be held on Saturday, July 13, at the family’s home, surrounded by her beloved flower gardens at 1:00 pm with a time of gathering starting at 11:00 am. Jean Breeggemann will be the Life Tribute Specialist. Memorials are preferred and will be distributed in Betty’s memory, by the family. A private family interment will be held at a later date. 

On the Fourth of July of 1944, in Charles City, Iowa, Betty Rae was born. She was the second of two daughters, of Alfred “Bud” and Irene (Steppler) Freebury. For many years, Betty was raised on a farm, although her parents needed to downsize, in order to pay for her sister’s medical care. Despite the family’s challenges at an early age, Betty took these experiences and formed a solid foundation, which carried her through life.  

Betty graduated from Osage High School in 1961. She furthered her education at University of Iowa, where she obtained a degree in Education. In her later years, Betty went on to achieve a master’s degree, as well. She taught all over the country and throughout her career, Betty touched all 12 grades. She was an amazing teacher, with spending most of her time teaching 8th grade language arts and gifted children. Due to Betty’s health, she retired much sooner than she wanted.   

While attending college, Betty went on a blind date with Dale Hamilton Burke. It was love at first sight. With their loving flourishing, Betty and Dale were married on December 28, 1963 in Osage Iowa. They were blessed with 3 sons in three years, Calvin, David and Samuel. The Burke family moved over 20 times, due to Dale’s career in the railroad. Betty never complained about another move, but instead enjoyed exploring and learning about the area history. Each move was another adventure! 

Betty’s greatest passion in life was being a wife, mother and grandmother. Her other passions were gardening and interior decorating. Betty spent countless hours designing, planting and tending to her many flower gardens, throughout life. In 2002, Betty and Dale built a home in Jordan. She took so much pride in designing this home making it handicapped accessible. But it was Betty’s vision in the landscaping and flower gardens surrounding the home, that captured her true heart.  

Betty excelled at life. She was an amazing cook, an avid reader, the family’s historian and enjoyed watching the Voice in recent years. Betty had a heart of gold for all animals, especially for the birds. She enjoyed collecting antiques and created the most amazing holiday’s, especially Christmas, for the family. Betty’s life was enriched once again, when she became a grandma. She relished being surrounded by them and loved each one unconditionally.   

In 1980, Betty was diagnosed with syringomyelia. She knew as the disease progressed, her mobility would decrease, and life would become more challenging. Betty never dwelled on what she could not do, rather being creative on how to accommodate her disability, into her life. Betty remained strong and persevered. From her humbling beginnings in life, Betty remained ground.  It was through her deep Christian values and conduct; Betty was able to touch so many lives, each in a special way.  

The amazing legacy of Betty now lives on in the hearts of those she loved the most, husband of 55 years, Dale: sons, Calvin Burke, David (Isabell) Burke, Samuel (Ann) Burke; grandchildren, Shealynn Burke, Taya Burke, Jack Burke, Savannah Burke, Olivia Burke; other relatives and friends.  

There to greet Betty home in heaven are her parents, Bud and Irene and sister, Wilma Freebury 

Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation proudly served and cared for the Burke family. www.ballardsunderfuneral.com  

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Condolence Messages

  1. Larry & Roberta Long

    We were so sorry to hear about Betty and hope that Dale & family will be comforted by the knowledge that she lived her life gracefully and with dignity throughout all the good times and difficulties she encountered.

  2. So sorry to hear of Betty’s passing…she was a wonderful person and all of us are better for having known her…my condolences to Dale and family…

    Sincerely,

    Tammy Scott

  3. Walter I. Shrake

    Sorry to read of her passing. I knew life had been tough for her for a long time bu Dale will miss her. The old railroad “family” is shrinking again!

    Irv Shrake
    Stilll in Savanna

  4. This obituary captures the beautiful soul of Betty. Beyond a super educator and a gracious co-worker. Her hospitality was so welcoming and her culinary skills were appreciated. I will never forget Dale bringing Betty to my retirement party. It touched me since I knew it was a challenge. I am sad to hear of her passing, but know she was able to enjoy her garden for many years. Condolences to Dale and Betty’s beloved family.

  5. Dear Burke family,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you in your loss of Betty. I had the privilege of knowing her when we were colleagues in the Farmington Middle School, and we always had some interesting conversations and shared laughs! Betty always kept her upbeat attitude and persevered no matter the difficulty. This is a hard and sad time, but I just know you have so many good memories and love to carry you . My sympathies, Linda Storlie

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