Mark Burke Obituary

Mark  Burke
Mark Burke

January 28, 1955 - February 20, 2023
Born in Jefferson, Iowa
Resided in Norwalk, Iowa
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Mark Anthony Burke was born January 28, 1955 in Jefferson, Iowa and grew up nearby in Lohrville. He passed away February 20, 2023 at the age of 68 while doing what he loved - sailing with his true love and light of his life, Linda.

Mark had long lasting relationships with seemingly everyone he ever met. He had a way of making those with whom he was spending time feel like there was no one else he would rather be with. He may have done this by calling you his favorite, making you an omelet, waffle, pie, steak, or cocktail, or giving you a quick golf lesson. Mark’s catchphrase to his grandchildren, “'Who’s your buddy, who’s your pal?' 'Papa!'" will live on.

Mark was multifaceted in his pursuits as a carpenter, construction worker, salesman, farmer, insurance agent, bar owner, entrepreneur, Class A PGA Golf Professional, woodworker, and artist. His generosity and passion for sharing his time, talents, and treasure have helped transform the many communities of which he has been a part.

Service to his family, friends, church, and community defined him. He was proud to serve his country in the Navy as a Seabee. He continued to honor the U.S. military and veterans by helping to bring the Freedom Rock to Norwalk and directing the Des Moines Chapter of G.I.V.E. - Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere. Over 1000 veterans have gone through G.I.V.E. clinics with him. Mark was honored with the Iowa Section PGA Patriot Award three times. Mark was also awarded the PGA Player Development Award. He was passionate about teaching golf, especially to children through the First Tee program and persons with mental and physical disabilities through Links Associates. Mark served as a Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus and was a proud member of the 100 Men of Norwalk organization. His strong work ethic made a powerful impact on his children and grandchildren, whom he often brought along on his projects to "work like rented mules."

Gathering friends and family brought such joy to his life. Mark always had a joke or a story to tell, a song to sing, and a book to recommend. Jimmy Buffett, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Chicago Cubs may have a new patron saint. He loved being on the water, whether it was on a pontoon helping the grandkids drive, on a sailboat in the Caribbean, or on a raft through the Grand Canyon. In his retirement and after years of dreaming and planning, Mark built a wood shop, The Sawdust Makery, with his great friend Marc Collis. They spent many hours “working” there. He loved golfing with the Silverbacks at Echo Valley and in the winter spending time with his family and friends in Arizona.

No one that knew Mark was left untouched by his strong faith. He made it known with his particular sense of humor that he was not afraid to die, notably during his battles with cancer. He lived the commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you," in a way that taught those around him how special they must be in the eyes of God, and also how deeply loved he knew himself to be.

Mark's legacy of love and faith will be carried on by his loving wife of nearly 45 years, Linda Burke (Koebel); five children: Mandie (Matt) DeVries of Des Moines, IA, Patrick (Sarah) Burke of Cedar Falls, IA, Geneveve (Tim) Loraditch of Elkhart, IA, Kelly (Sven) Larsen of Clive, IA, and Kaela (Mitch) Smith of Beaverdale, IA; twenty three grandchildren: Bethany, Emma, Madeleine, Leah, Lucy, and David DeVries, Elle, Paul, and Grace Burke, Veronica, Peyton, Felicity, Justice, Mercedes, Titus, Gianna, and Blaise Loraditch, Jon, Marcus, Marie, and Tage Larsen, and Burke and Vinny Smith; five brothers and five sisters; many in-laws, outlaws, aunts, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, aunt/uncle cousins, as well as countless life long friends from the many places he's lived.

He was preceded in death by parents, Ed and Jeanne (Murphy) Burke, and brother-in-law, Vern Kinney.

Funeral services will be held Monday, March 6, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. with the family greeting friends from 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. A luncheon will be held following the burial at St. John's Cemetery, Cumming. There will be a visitation from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, with a vigil service and rosary beginning at 7:00 p.m. All services will be held at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk, IA: 720 Orchard Hills Drive, Norwalk, IA 50211.

If you would like to share a memory of Mark for the family, you can share here: Follow the prompts to share traits, memories, photos, etc. for the family to treasure.

Mark cared deeply for many organizations. Memorials in his honor are suggested to the Warren County Freedom Rock Fund at the Cumming American Legion for the renewal painting and maintenance of the Freedom Rock, 113 N 44th St, Cumming, IA 50061, the GIVE Foundation,, InnerVisions HealthCare,, Iowa Catholic Radio,, or St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.

The funeral service will be livestreamed for those unable to attend. A link will appear on Mark's obituary page at, where you may also leave online condolences.

livestream available here or at the bottom of the page

Arrangements by Iles Norwalk Chapel.





St. John the Apostle Catholic Church
720 Orchard Hills Drive
Norwalk, IA US 50211
Sunday, March 5, 2023
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Vigil Service
St. John the Apostle Catholic Church
720 Orchard Hills Drive
Norwalk, IA US 50211
Sunday, March 5, 2023
7:00 PM
Additional visitation prior to the service
St. John the Apostle Catholic Church
720 Orchard Hills Drive
Norwalk, IA US 50211
Monday, March 6, 2023
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
St. John the Apostle Catholic Church
720 Orchard Hills Drive
Norwalk, IA US 50211
Monday, March 6, 2023
11:00 AM
St. Johns Cemetery
Cumming Iowa
Cumming, IA US 50061
Monday, March 6, 2023
12:30 PM