William (Bill) R. Burke 78, of Elkader Iowa, went to be with his Lord on February 9, 2019, after a courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Son of Raymond F Burke and Leona L (Wagner) Burke was born May 1, 1940 at Mercy Hospital in Oelwein, Iowa. He attended country school with his mother as his teacher and graduated from Fairbank High School, in 1957, at the age of sixteen. He went on to attend Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa where he graduated in 1961. In the fall of 1961, he began his teaching career at West Central School in Maynard. For thirty-five years, he taught 7th & 8th grade Biology, Earth Science, Drama and Hunters Safety. His passion for the outdoors inspired him to start the Outdoorsmanship class, which lead to the building of the Outdoor Education Center of which he and his students spent countless hours learning about the outdoors and our environment.
Bill supported and was very active in multiple conservation and wildlife programs. He served on the Fayette County Conservation Board and was a founding member of the Fairbank Gun Club.
On August 6, 1983, he married Corene Joann Reimer-Larson at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader, Iowa. Together they traveled the world. The countless memories they shared, included nineteen winters together on South Padre Island, Texas.
The memories Bill shared with his Family and Friends at the cabin, will be cherished by all that loved him.
He is survived by his wife Corene Joann Burke of Elkader; four children, Michelle M (Shelli Burke) (John) Walke, Claremore, OK, William Hunter (Janice) Burke, Altoona, IA, Angela M (Larson) (Ronny) Lenth, Hiawatha, IA, and Andrew P Larson, Watertown, WI; eight grandchildren, Eric (Heather) Walke, Lyndon (Ashley) Walke, Courtney Lenth, Zach (Renee) Lenth, Cayla Burke, Caleb Burke, Dylan Larson and Cade Burke; four great grandchildren, Emerson Walke, Ella Walke, Callan Walke and Finley Lenth; sister, Ann (Dave) Ure; brother, Pat (Dianne) Burke; sister-in-law, Doris (Raymond) Dryer; numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Bill was proceeded in death by his father, Raymond F Burke, mother Leona L (Wagner) Burke, father-in-law Orville CJ Reimer, mother-in-law Beulah M (Oldham) Reimer.
Visitation: 4 to 7 PM, Tuesday February 12, 2019, at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and after 10 at the church on Wednesday
Funeral Services: 11:00 AM on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader with Rev. Jon Haack officiating
Interment: East Side Cemetery, Elkader, Iowa
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com