After a long battle with a number of health issues, William Burke Sr., founder of Burke Corporation and a pioneer in the fully cooked pizza topping industry, passed away July 2 at the age of 81.

Born in St. Louis, Burke grew up in Wauwatosa, Wis., and served in the U.S. Army in Korea. Following graduation from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., he and his wife, Alice, made their home in Milwaukee, where their six children were born. While in Milwaukee, Burke worked for Patrick Cudahy and twice ran for U.S. Congress.

The Burke family moved to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1960. In 1964, Burke accepted a position at Supreme Foods in Ames, Iowa. The Burkes eventually bought the company and it became Pronto Food Kitchens, later Burke Corporation. In 1974, the company shifted focus from the manufacturer of frozen pizzas to producing and marketing custom pre-cooked pizza toppings.

When the company outgrew its Ames location in 1984, Burke Corporation moved to Nevada, Iowa, where numerous expansions have grown the company to more than 350 employees. 

In 1991, Burke transferred more of the day-to-day responsibilities to senior team members, allowing him more time to focus on his wife Alice, family and several key civic causes for which he held great passion.

Throughout more than 30 years in the topping business and 50 years in the pizza industry, the company that was founded by Burke has served more than 1,600 customers and made significant contributions to the pizza industry. 

Related Content

User Comments – Give us your opinion!
Products & Services

PCI Compliance Services

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4892.png

4892/PCI-Compliance-Services

Thr!ve Point-of-Sale

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6811.png

6811/Thr-ve-Point-of-Sale

Online Ordering

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4285.png

4285/Online-Ordering

Food Cost Management

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6401.png

6401/Food-Cost-Management

Operations Support

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6409.png

6409/Operations-Support

FireFly Point-of-Sale

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4282.png

4282/FireFly-Point-of-Sale

Standard coffee

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6963.png

6963/Standard-coffee

Self Serve iPad Ordering

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/5605.png

5605/Self-Serve-iPad-Ordering

Custom Digital Signage Templates

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6683.png

6683/Custom-Digital-Signage-Templates

Social Security Number (SSN) Verification

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/SSN_employmentsearch.gif

1426/Social-Security-Number-SSN-Verification

Fast Casual Executive Summit
Request Information From Suppliers
Save time looking for suppliers. Complete this form to submit a Request for Information to our entire network of partners.