James Burke

February 23, 1936 - March 02, 2023


Obituary For James Burke

VERONA – James B. Burke, age 87, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at Agrace Hospice. Jim was born on February 23, 1936 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, WI to Roy and Juanita (Whelan) Burke. He started his business career as a paperboy and graduated from Verona High School in 1954. After school he entered the US Army and spent two years in Berlin, Germany. While in Europe he started his love affair with collectibles. Upon returning, he attended and graduated from Madison Business College and began a career in accounting. He worked for Northwestern Stone, Oscar Mayer, Nicolet Instruments, and his own accounting practice. In 1970 he started a successful career with his own real estate firm, De Burgo Realty, selling real estate for over 50 years. On October 24, 1964, he married the love of his life, Arlene Scherrer. Jim was a lifetime member of St. Andrew Catholic Church, and a longtime member of the Verona Optimist Club and the Verona Jaycees. He enjoyed telling a good joke as well as hearing a good joke, reading, golfing, seeing friends, and especially spending time with family. Jim will be missed for his love, kindness, humor and knowledge.

Jim is survived by his wife of 58 years, Arlene; children, Patrick (Julie Hamm), Teresa Kohler-Burke (Benjamin Kohler), and Brian (Nicole); grandchildren, Joseph, Olivia, Alicia Kohler, Payton, Nolan, and Harper; and sister-in-law, Lois. He is further survived by nephews and a niece along with their children. Jim is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Robert, Margaret, Tom, Marcia, Ruth, and Ann; in-laws, Joe and Bernice Scherrer; and brother-in-law, Roger.

Join our celebration honoring the life of James Burke on Saturday, May 20, 2023 from 2:00PM until 6:00PM and VERONA LEGION HALL, 207 Legion Street, Verona.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations will be given to charities that were close to Jim’s heart. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services Verona Chapel 220 Enterprise Drive 608-845-6625


20 May

Celebration of Life

02:00 PM - 06:00 PM

American Legion - Verona 207 Legion Street Verona, WI 53593 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • September 20, 2023

    I have been away from the Verona Area for some time. I am sorry to hear of Jim's passing. May he rest in Peace. Rob Slotten

  • May 16, 2023

    Our sincere condolences to the entire family. We are keeping you all, and Jim, in our prayers. Tim and Denny O'Rourke

  • March 13, 2023

    It has truly been an honor and pleasure to have known and been a friend of Jim's for more than 50 years. Jim's friendly Irish personality made him easy to like. Jim, myself and numerous others enjoyed many fun activities together including golf, bowling, breakfast gatherings and New Year's Eve celebrations. Jim was a generous person and a good event organizer. He could remember and tell more jokes than anyone I've ever known. It was just fun to be with him. I am truly saddened by his passing. -Robert Bovy

  • March 10, 2023

    Dear Arlene and Family, We are so sorry for your loss. Jim has been a fixture in Verona for so many years. We are sending thoughts and prayers to all of you. Pat and Steve Wehrley

  • March 09, 2023

    It was a pleasure getting to know Jim over the past few months. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed sharing a smile with others. My condolences to the entire family. -Alyssa (OT)

  • March 09, 2023

    My sympathy on Jim's passing, have fond memories of our golf outings .Ray Wagner

  • March 08, 2023

    Well Jim,no more stories to tell about our Verona friends or having to share a drink together. I will miss you, Phil Marshall

  • March 08, 2023

    We are so very sorry for your loss, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Paul, Shelley, Thomas and Madelyn Cleary

  • March 07, 2023

    Our sincerest condolences to the entire extended Burke Family. I will never forget the jokes and the trip around New Glarus!

  • March 07, 2023

    Sympathies to the Burke family. Jim was the realtor when I bought my first home. That is how we met. Good guy and we become friends forever. Thoughts and prayers to you all. Gail Trainor

  • March 07, 2023

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family. Prayers for comfort and peace. God Bless. With Love, Lisa Hammer

  • March 06, 2023

    My sincere condolences to your whole family. Many prayers for you! Betty (Sorensen) Van Asten


  • America the Beautiful

    America the Beautiful was sent for James Burke - March 07, 2023

  • 5 TREES

    Greg Homzik planted 5 trees in memory of James Burke . - March 08, 2023

  • 5 TREES

    Amy Allen & Family planted 5 trees in memory of James Burke . - March 07, 2023

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what our families say

Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

Skyler was absolutely amazing. She was so caring and helpful through this whole process. She even went above and beyond to meet with us in DeForest and even to make a stop at our home to drop off or pick up anything needed. While it was a small gesture, it was so helpful and greatly appreciated.

Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

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