Jack Burke

August 1944
November 2023


Jack Lee Burke passed away peacefully on November 15, 2023, at the age of 79. He and his twin brother, Jerry, were born in 1944 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jack grew up in Garnett, Kansas, Colony, Kansas, and Oceanside, California. While attending Missouri Southern College, Jack played football, ran track, and was student body president. In his junior year, he married Cheryl Dines. He graduated with a BSED in Education and taught high school for two years. After that, he worked in retail management for 16 years. In 1978, now with two sons, the family moved to the MacKenzie River valley in Oregon. He owned a general store, pharmacy, and a market. In 1982 he returned to retail management and eventually moved to Merced, California. In 1986 Jack became a credentialed teacher for the Merced River School District and taught for 32 years at Washington Middle School. He was a talented and empathetic teacher, always exploring new ways to teach. He took kids on trips to Alcatraz and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, to give the kids a view of the wider world. He was given the California Teacher of the Year award in 2008. He was the Treasurer for the group that developed the Merced Community Golf Course. Jack is survived by his second wife Diane, sons James and Nicholas, stepson Adam, and grandchildren Kira and Zia. His family will deeply miss Jack. The family requests privacy at this time. In lieu of condolences or flowers, the family suggests donating to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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