Burke, Martin "Skip" Prominent Trial Attorney and Running Enthusiast On January 12, 2016, Martin N. Burke III, known best as Skip, died peacefully at his home overlooking Lake Minnetonka and surrounded by his children. Born on 12/27/1936 in Green Bay, Skip was the eldest child of Marty and Jackie Burke. Skip and his family moved to Minneapolis when Skip was a teenager. Skip attended The Blake School where he excelled in academics and played varsity Football, Basketball and Baseball. Skip was the unlikely hero when he made the final basket leading the Bears to victory in the state championship basketball game. Following Blake, Skip attended Yale University and married his high school sweetheart Barbara Forster. At Yale, Skip again excelled in academics and was recognized as a talented actor in Yale drama productions. Following Yale, Skip attended the University of Chicago Law School and then returned to Minneapolis to practice law as an associate and partner with Faegre & Benson. Over his illustrious legal career, Skip was recognized as a distinguished trial lawyer and he eventually served as Chair of the General Litigation Department and member of the Management Committee at Faegre. Skip retired from his law practice shortly after turning 60 and moved with his wife Susan to his beloved Telluride, Colorado. After one year, Skip "failed" retirement and he returned to Minneapolis to practice law with Jerry Blackwell as a founding partner in Blackwell Burke P.A. He relished practicing law with Jerry and their colleagues at Blackwell Burke, and he only retired when Parkinson's disease made continued practice impossible. Skip was an avid athlete and competitor who loved sports of all kinds including handball, sailing, skiing and especially distance running. Skip ran nearly 90 marathons and several 50 mile and 100 kilometer races. This was a remarkable feat since Skip ran his first marathon at the age of 41. He became deeply involved in the running community, and he championed the merger of the former City of Lakes and St Paul Marathons into a single Twin Cities Marathon which he proudly proclaimed was "the most beautiful urban marathon in America." Skip served as the color commentator alongside Ralph Jon Fritz on WCCO during the first televised Twin Cities Marathon. Skip was a committed and dedicated member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He attended AA meetings weekly and was a sponsor and mentor for a large number of people in recovery. Skip was always generous, kind and eager to help others in need. Skip was a foster parent to several children and was particularly helpful to teenagers recovering from addiction. Skip was also passionate about healthy food. He purchased and renovated an historic building at 2558 Lyndale Avenue South and launched a gourmet restaurant known as "Poulet." Poulet was successful for several years and was well known in the community for serving a free Thanksgiving Dinner to anyone in need. Skip also loved the arts in all forms--painting, sculpture, poetry, fiction and film. He wrote several plays and one novella. He adored the Telluride Film festival and was the proud sponsor of his own "One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Art Fair" for many years on Maxwell Bay on Lake Minnetonka. Skip loved reading and writing fiction, and he helped form a book club with his neighbors. Skip's final work was an autobiographical memoir entitled "The Reluctant Runner." Skip loved and cherished his homes in Telluride and Madeline Island, but he loved living and running from his Kenwood home around the Minneapolis lakes above all else. He loved all 4 of his wives, he loved his children and grandchildren immensely. Skip also loved his many dogs who were his constant running companions. Skip's beloved rescue dog, Mel, was with him until the end, and Mel now lives happily amidst the other Burke family dogs. Skip was preceded in death by his father Marty, younger brother Bob, mother Jackie, brother-in-law Pep Forster and younger sister Ann (Forster). Skip is survived by his wife Susan, his sons Nicholas and Forrest and his daughter Weesa, his daughters-in law Susan and Renee (Burke) and son-in-law Michael (Hild), and his ten grandchildren: Shea, Perrin, Kellen and Tristan (Burke); Diana, William, Emma and Bella (Burke); and Woody and Marty (Hild). Skip is also survived by his sister-in-law Pamela (Goodsky), stepdaughter Christine (Monroe), and step-granddaughter Tracy (Waste). Skip is fondly remembered by his three former wives: Jean Burke, Margaret Burke and Barbara Forster. Skip battled Parkinson's for more than a decade and always remained positive and upbeat. He never quit. Skip was cared for and loved by two remarkable caregivers, Kim and Charles, and by his nurse Jodi -- all of whom will forever be part of the Burke Clan. Skip made the most of this life and had a great run to the very end of the trail. Memorials in lieu of flowers are preferred in support of the Animal Humane Society of Minneapolis, 845 Meadow Lane N, Golden Valley, MN 55422. A memorial service will be held on March 12th at 4 pm at the Lafayette Club in Minnetonka Beach, MN.

Published on January 17, 2016

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