Ron Burke, 75, retired director of Dining Services, died due to COVID-19 on Dec. 12 at Bryan Medical Center.
Burke was born Dec. 5, 1947 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to Lois and Raymond Burke. He graduated from Grand Forks Central High School in 1965 before enlisting in the Army National Guard. He served in the guard in North Dakota and Nebraska for 28 years.
Burke’s career was spent in the food service and hospitality industry. He started working in food service at 15 and worked in and managed restaurants while earning a degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Starting in 1980, he worked for nine years as assistant director of dining services at the University of North Dakota. Burke temporarily sought a new direction, earning a marketing degree from UND, before returning to food service.
In 1991, Burke applied for and was hired as manager of food stores at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He went on to become the director of Dining Services and Summer Conferences for University Housing.
Burke, who loved serving Huskers and leading a team that shared his passion, retired from UNL in 2018.
Burke’s hobbies included buying and selling cars, building projects, surprising people with gifts, going to concerts and spoiling his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; children — Sean Burke (and wife, Karla) of Berthoud, Colorado, Erica Burke of Lincoln, and Misty Burke of Cavalier, North Dakota; step-children — Dan Johnson (Lori) of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Ann Johnson of Lincoln, and Brian Johnson (Sara) of Omaha; 11 grandchildren; brothers — Gerald, Pat, Mike, Steve (Lynette Lunde), and Paul (Bonnie); and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Dec. 20 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 1015 Lancaster Lane, in Lincoln. The service will also be available via Zoom. Memorials may be given to the family to designate to causes most important to Burke.
Condolences may be left through the family obituary.