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Martin L. Burke

Photo page 350

Martin L. Burke was born February 18, 1923, near Luther, being the second of the eight children born to William and Pearl Burke. He attended the Luther school, and has lived his life in and around the Madrid area. His young life was spent working on the family farm and surrounding farms. He spent many hours working in the Serr and Burke Coal Mine from 1938-1942. He then worked at the Des Moines Ordinance Plant. When World War II broke out, he joined the Army. He was stationed in Europe during his tour of duty, and when he was discharged in 1945, it was with great honor that he received the commendation of the Silver Star for valor and heroism.

When Mart returned to Madrid, he went to work as a mechanic and electrician, something he always had a natural aptitude for. While working in Madrid, he met Evelyn M. Maxwell, the daughter of Walter and Mildred Maxwell.

Evelyn was born January 13, 1929. She moved to Madrid from Chariton, Iowa, with her family, in 1942. On January 13, 1947, she and Martin were married. They made their home in Madrid, and raised their family of five children.

Martin worked at John Deere in Des Moines for five years, but being indoors was not the work, nor type of life Mart wanted. When the opportunity came, Mart took a job as Superintendent of Streets for the City of Madrid. During his employment for the City, Mart completed his studies and field work, and received his Water Works Operators Certificate. He then received the opportunity to become foreman for a construction company in Des Moines. This eventually led to the formation of his own construction company in 1977.

There was always a sense of community pride in Mart, and he volunteered for many civic duties. They include serving on the MYRA board, as a volunteer fireman, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, past president of the Madrid Taxpayers Association, being a member of the City Council, and taking part in the Madrid Centennial, through work on the history book.

The Burke children are: Daniel Lawrence; Martin Leo; Jeffrie Ann; James Anthony, and Kelly Beatrice. Daniel Lawrence was born August 23, 1947. He was married to Barbara Lager from 1968 until 1974. He married Barbara Robinette on July 17, 1976, and they are the parents of one daughter, Sienna Dawn, born April 12, 1978. Martin Leo, born May 1, 1949, married Karen Campbell on February 19, 1971. They had one daughter, Rachel Lynn, born April 10, 1972. After their marriage ended, Rachel was adopted by Karen's second husband, Robert Frey, in 1980. Martin is now engaged to marry Helen Burton. Jeffrie Ann, born June 1, 1954, married Archie Stout on October 23, 1971. Jeffrie and Archie have one daughter, Daniele Sue, born May 5, 1972. James Anthony, born August 14, 1958, married Karen Vokes August 27, 1977. James and Karen have two daughters: Leanna Lee, born January 1, 1978; and Mandy Kay, born February 23, 1981. Kelly is engaged to John Heitoff.

The two older boys served in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam conflict. Daniel was in the Navy, on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Constellation, and Martin was in the Army, first stationed in Germany as a paratrooper, and then, in Vietnam, with the ground forces.

All the Burke children and grandchildren are very proud of Martin and Evelyn and the accomplishments they have made throughout the years. They always gave love and taught their children self-sufficiency, to do things the way they thought best - the same way they were raised.

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