As a young man with a lovely wife, Kathryn Murphy, and growing family, John Burke set out to make his fortune in the wide world of real estate. He started by selling single family houses, but soon started developing multi-family apartment and condominium communities. He opened his first company “Burke and Associates” with one employee. Fether is still a member of the Burke Team today.
Taking the long view, he weathered the economic swings of the last 40 years, continuing to develop different kinds of real estate while also trying his hand at other businesses too. Always, during times of trial and success, he and Murph made meaningful philanthropic contributions to the community, adding to the texture and vibrancy of the Milwaukee landscape. Often their gifts were visible. At other times their gifts, although no less important to Milwaukee, were made quietly.
Although he never set out to create a family business, the kids always had a job, whether painting, landscaping or leasing apartments, as soon as they were old enough. Today, three of the five of them work actively in the business, and two work as advisors. Murph’s and John’s children value the example they set, and work to honor the tradition of a successful family business that is committed to giving back. Whether in their local parish, neighborhood, or wider community locally, regionally, and nationally, Murph’s and John’s efforts to make a difference have set a high bar.