Several patrons for Bremer Bank in Watertown will notice that a familiar face will no longer be there this August. Susan Burke, branch manager, announced her retirement, which is effective on August 2. She’s worked hard in the community and for the community at Bremer, and though she’s retiring from her position at Bremer, she still plans to keep up with the community.
Burke has been working at Bremer for 17 years, and in the banking business for 36 years total. She and her husband, the late Gary Burke, worked in Watertown when Mr. Burke became president of Watertown’s branch in 1993. Burke herself was working in Minneapolis at the time, but after he passed she began working at Watertown’s branch.
Her reason for retiring early is fairly simple: family. Between a couple young grandchildren, aging relatives, and more.
“It was a real tough decision because it’s been a real great place to work,” she said.
Her favorite aspect of working at Bremer has been the people. Whether it was starting a business, build their dream home, or just helping through a loan, Burke has truly enjoyed watching her customers grow and realize their own dreams.
“You’re just part of their life change,” she said. “Finances transmit throughout your life.”
As for her community work, she’s worked hard on several projects. One of her first was the playground at the Primary School. She and a few other mothers gathered money and began building the playground all residents see up at the school. Burke also participated in financing the bond referendum for the elementary school back in 2005.
But probably her biggest contribution to the community every year is the Gary Burke Memorial Golf Tournament, which will not be stopping just because she’s retiring from Bremer. Bremer has already decided to continue supporting the tournament for as long as Burke herself continues it.
Burke will also continue to serve on the three boards of directors. She also plans to travel, first to Greece and then probably to a few more places. Otherwise, she will be working with her family and in the community still, but will no longer be at the bank.
“I just want to say thank you to the community. We’ve loved being here and raising our family here, and it will always be a special part in my heart,” she said.
Anyone who wants to wish Burke luck is welcome to drop in during the day on August 2 and enjoy some cake.
“I’m not leaving because of anything bad,” she said. “I’ve just got some family needs that are tugging at my heart right now.”
Bremer Bank has employees with decades of experience under their belts, so while the transition from Burke to whomever comes next will be different, patrons can still rely on the bank for the service they’ve come to know in the time she’s been there.