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Ruth Lillian Burke

November 27, 1927 ~ January 11, 2021 (age 93)


Ruth Burke, 93, of DeWitt, Iowa, died Monday, January 11, 2021, at the Alverno in Clinton.

Ruth was born November 27, 1927, at home on a farm near Petersville, Iowa, to Martin and Maudie (McClintock) Burke. She spent her early childhood in Colome, South Dakota and returned to Iowa where she graduated from St. Joseph High School in DeWitt. Later she graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Cedar Rapids becoming an Army Nurse Cadet. She earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. Ruth spent most of her working life providing counseling services in the Tuckerton, New Jersey area. She returned to the Clinton area in 2015.

Ruth was a social worker for Catholic Charities in the Cedar Rapids area where she started a clinic for unwed mothers. She assisted many children in finding their forever families and was very proud of those she placed in her own family. She was an adjunct professor in social work at Stockton State College, New Jersey.

Surviving are her partner, Patricia Dorsa of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; siblings, Mary Clare Wendel of Clinton, Sister Mary Frances Burke of Clinton, Jim (Maurita) Burke of DeWitt, Jack Burke of Jacksonville, Florida, Sister Donna Marie Burke of Clinton, and Steve Burke of Charlotte; numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her brothers, Bill, Don, George, and Jerry, in-laws, Jean Burke, Don Wendel, Patricia Burke, Elvera Burke, Darlene Burke, Theresa Burke and Mary Ann Burke; several nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 14, 2021, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Petersville, with interment following in the church cemetery. 

Livestreaming at

Scott Braden of Eldridge will serve as pallbearer. Honorary pallbearers will be, Mike Burke of Washington D.C. and Mike Burke of Omaha, Nebraska.

To send flowers to Ruth's family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Mass
January 14, 2021

11:00 AM
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Petersville)

Live Streaming of Service
January 14, 2021

11:00 AM
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DeWitt, IA 52742

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