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Clara M. Burke

Published: Monday, March 3, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
Clara M. Burke

FRANKLIN GROVE – Clara M. Burke, 101, of Franklin Grove, passed away Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at KSB Hospital in Dixon surrounded by her family.

She was born May 30, 1912, in Amboy, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Minnie Louise (Ebert) Chesley.

Clara was previously employed at Freeman’s Shoe Factory and Brady’s Village, and owned two restaurants, Zimmer’s and Klara’s Kitchen. She especially enjoyed fishing, dancing, playing cards, and being with her friends and family. 

She married Richard Sondgeroth on June 26, 1929, in Amboy, and he preceded her in death on Nov. 6, 1974. She married John “Jack” Burke on Aug. 28, 1981, in Ottawa, and he preceded her in death on Feb. 20, 2005.

She also was preceded in death by a son, Robert Sondgeroth; sisters Pearl Wentling and Hazel Chesley; brothers Benjamin, George, Charles, Lawrence and Percy Chesley; sons-in-law William Boyle and John Carlson; and stepson-in-law James Trotter.

She is survived by her daughter, Judith Carlson, daughter-in-law, Verna Sondgeroth, stepchildren Linda (Robert) Swim, Sharon Trotter, Jacqueline (William) Brooks, Charles (Mary) Burke and John (Deb) Burke, Jr.; grandchildren Connie (Rick) Lavanway, Robert (Lucy) Sondgeroth, Cathy Warren, Michelle (Rick) Kethcart, Beverly (Michael) Simas, Carol Strohecker, and Janie Boyle; 11 step-grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 16 step-great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; two step-great-great-grandchildren; and three great-great-great-grandchildren. 

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today, with a scripture service at 7:30 p.m., and from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday at Mihm-Jones Funeral Home in Amboy.

The funeral service begins with a prayer service at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Amboy, with the Rev. Msgr. Thomas Bales officiating. 

Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon.

A memorial will be established.

Visit to send condolences.

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