Fran passed away in his sleep on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008 after coming home from the hospital on Monday. He will be greatly missed, to say the least.
He was born in Janesville on Nov. 17, 1929, the son of Alvin R. and Bernice H. (Belken) Burke. He graduated from St. Patrick’s Catholic School and Janesville High School. He served in the US Army in the Air Defense Branch and retired as a Master Sergeant in 1968 after 21 years of service. Sonny married Marcella A. Jacobson on Aug. 11, 1951, and she preceded him in death. He married Joan Kerr on March 19, 1999. He had been formerly employed by Gibbs Manufacturing and by Best Built Garage. He was a member of Our Lady of the Assumption Church, and the American Legion of Janesville and Beloit.
He is survived by his wife, Joan of Beloit; 3 children: Tom (Mary) Burke, Susan Burke and Mary (Joseph Hills) Bessel all of Janesville; 10 grandchildren and step grandchildren: Ruby, Garrett and Olivia Burke, Kara (Nate) Schwichtenberg, Julie Peters, Devon and Adrianna Hills, Danielle Amsbaugh, Nick (Jen) Amsbaugh, Joe (Jen) Amsbaugh; 5 great grandchildren; 4 step children: Jay (Pam) Amsbaugh of New Jersey, Jon (Shirley) Amsbaugh of IL, JR (Alyssa) Amsbaugh of NJ and Janet (Doug) Fogle of IL; 1 sister, Arlene Burke of Texas; and 2 brothers, Paul (Bev) Burke of Florida/Illinois and Dick (Barb) Burke of Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Marcella; infant daughter, Brenda; and 2 sisters, Eloise Holden and Elaine Derk.