Bessie Burke, age 91, of Marengo, Iowa, died Saturday, April 26, 2014 at Highland Ridge Care Center, in Williamsburg, Iowa. Funeral Services: 10:30 A.M. Wednesday, April 30, 2014, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Marengo with Rev. Andrew Gray officiating. Burial will be in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, rural Victor. Visitation: 4 to 7 P.M. Tuesday, April 29, 2014, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Marengo. Memorials may be contributed to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Marengo, or St. John’s Lutheran Church, Victor. Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo is in charge of arrangements.  

She is survived by three sons, Lewis and wife Joyce of Marengo, Douglas and wife Marla of Clive, Bruce and wife Kathy of Amana; a daughter Marcia Burke of Williamsburg; six grandchildren, Matthew Thompson of Clive, James Thompson of Ames, Nathan Burke of Des Moines, Sunny Burke of Ames, Shelly Koehn (Joseph) of Millersburg, and Shayna Janda (Nicholas) of Cedar Rapids; and four great-grandchildren, Cameron Thompson, Evan and Abby Koehn, and James Janda. Also surviving are a sister-in-law, Eleanor Woodson and many loving nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Roland William Burke in 1999, five brothers, Ora, Leon, Homer and Ronald Woodson, and Willard in infancy, and a sister Lois Clymer.

Bessie Frances Woodson was born February 22, 1923 in rural Shellsburg, Iowa, the daughter of Ira and Lucy Alden Woodson.  She graduated from Shellsburg High School with the Class of 1941. She was employed at Collins Radio from 1942-47, helping make the radios used in World War II.  Bessie married Roland William Burke on June 15, 1947 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids.  She worked with her husband on the farm in rural Guernsey for many years. Following their retirement, the couple relocated to Marengo.

Bessie was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was very active in her church, whether it was St. John’s Lutheran in rural Victor or later at St. John’s in Marengo. She was a Sunday school teacher, choir member, and Ladies Aid member.  Music had always been an important part of Bessie’s life. She sang for many weddings and funerals. She delivered sermon tapes for many years to fellow members who could no longer attend the church services. She enjoyed reading, needlework projects, and creating many special pieces. She liked playing cards with family and friends, working jigsaw puzzles, and especially playing dominoes with her grandchildren.   After her eyesight failed, Bessie listened to the Bible and other reading material with audio tapes. Her Lord, family and music were her cherished joys in life.





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