Dorothea “Dorothy”

Adela Lena Burke

May 22, 1925-March 25, 2021

Dorothea “Dorothy” Adela Lena Burke, 95, of Hutchinson, MN passed away on March 25, 2021 (which was her beloved husband, Franklin’s birthday) in Hutchinson.

Dorothy was born on May 22, 1925 in New Ulm, MN to Sophia (Mueller) and Herman Niebuhr of Gibbon, MN. Dorothy was baptized, confirmed and married at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Gibbon. She graduated Salutation of her senior class from Gibbon High School.

On August 18, 1944, Dorothy was united in marriage to Franklin Burke and this marriage was blessed three children, one daughter, Marcene and two sons, Don, and Ted. They spent the majority of their life in Fernando before retiring to Hutchinson. Together they shared just over 73 years of marriage, until Franklin passed away on January 1, 2018.

Dorothy was a wonderful mother and homemaker and together with Franklin, they ran Burke’s store in Fernando. They closed the store in 1975 and welcomed their three grandchildren, Bob, Lori, and Chuck into their home.

Dorothy had fantastic taste buds which translated into the best meals! Her favorite meal to prepare was roast duck. She could also whip up the best, lightest and most delicate tasting Angel food cake. When she knew someone was coming to visit, she would make sure to have some of their favorite foods prepared just for them. We have missed her home cooked meals.

She had a magical way with all the little ones in her life. Somehow, she could use that lovely smile and that sparkle in her beautiful brown eyes and make every child feel as if they were the most important person in the world. She could play and read to them for hours and enjoy every moment. It wasn’t about her; it was all about them. What a gift. The gift of time.

She had a love of reading and playing cards and working on jigsaw puzzles. Life became very sad and challenging for her when she started losing her vision about 12 years ago to macular degeneration and then finally becoming legally blind.

She moved to Harmony River Living Center in August of 2019.  We would like to thank Jim and Barb for taking care of her and reading to her during the Covid time when her family could not be with her.

Survived by children, Marcene Witt, Don Burke, Ted Burke (Suzanne); grandchildren, Bob Witt (Joy), Lori Loomis (Michael), Chuck Witt (Lisa); great-grandchildren, Rachel Schmidt (Jake), Tara Strey (Dave), Alex and Dorothy Witt; great-great-grandchildren, Sophie, Burke, Reuben, and Joey Schmidt, Cody and Amelia Strey; brother-in-law, Wayne Burke (JoAnn); many nieces and nephews with whom she always remembered their birthdays when the date came up even until the end.

A private family funeral is at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church Fernando, south of Stewart, MN for both Dorothy and Franklin with interment in the church cemetery. Military Honors provided by the DeGree-Fleisch American Legion Post 125 of Stewart and great-grandson Alex Witt performing Taps. Urn Bearers are Alex and Dorothy Witt, Sophie, Burke, Reuben and Joey Schmidt, and Cody and Amelia Strey.

Arrangements by Dobratz-Hantge Chapels in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guestbook available at


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