John Gary Burke

April 2, 1936 ~ March 31, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


      John G. Burke, known as “Jack” to family and friends passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Friday, March 31st 2023 in Walnut Creek just two days shy of his 87th birthday.

      Born at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento on April 2nd, 1936, Jack was the second of five children to Lawrence and Winnie Burke. Jack grew up in the small town of Plymouth, California and attended schools there, graduating from Amador County High School in 1954.  Jack then served as an electrician in the U.S. Navy on the USS Winston from 1960 to 1962 and was stationed in Sasebo, Japan.  After returning home from the service, Jack was employed by Aerojet, then Douglas Aircraft, which is when he met the love of his life Karen, and the two were married in 1964.  Jack later attended Sacramento State University, graduating with honors in 1969.  Jack and Karen then moved to San Mateo, where son Tony was born, then San Ramon, where son Ryan was born, then to Danville, where he lived for 47 years until his passing.

      Jack’s great joy in his life was his family, and the role he was most proud of was that of husband, “Dad”, and “Papa” to Karen, his sons, and his grandchildren. Jack’s other passion was music and was a self-taught accomplished piano and trumpet player. Jack and Karen’s home was always filled with the lively sound of his music. Jack also played in an 18-piece orchestra and was one of the founding members of the Sacramento Jazz Festival.  Jack lived a full life, enjoyed world travel and a very successful sales career in Silicon Valley, and 25 years at Control Data.  After retirement, Jack kept equally busy as a pilot, an active member of the E.A.A., built a Goldwing aircraft, and was in the process of building a P-51 replica airplane from scratch.  Jack was a hard worker and could fix and fabricate absolutely anything. He blessed his friends and family with his intelligence, vast knowledge, and sharp sense of humor.  Jack was loved and respected by all who knew him.

      Jack is survived by his wife of 58 years, Karen Burke, sons Tony Burke (Jenny) of Danville, Ryan Burke (Kim) of Dublin, grandchildren Noah, Maddie, and Sonny Burke, and Alec and Lindsay Clark. Jack is also survived by his brother Larry Burke, sisters Sharrell Michelotti, and Mary D’Agostini, her husband Ralph (also a lifelong friend), and sister-in-law Barbara Crail. Jack was preceded in death by his brother Mike Burke in 2013.  Numerous nieces, nephews, and friends also mourn Jack’s passing.  He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.

      A service to honor Jack is planned at Wilson and Kratzer Chapel 825 Hartz Way in Danville on Friday, April 21st at 12:00 pm.  Following the service, family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Jack’s life at the Town of Danville Valley Oak Room, 420 Front Street, in Danville.  A family graveside service is planned for Saturday, April 22nd at 12:00 pm at Westwood Hills Memorial Park in Placerville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jack’s name to Gable Heart Beats Foundation, or the charity of your choice.


Funeral Service
April 21, 2023

12:00 PM
Wilson & Kratzer Chapel of San Ramon Valley
825 Hartz Way
Danville, CA 94526

Graveside Service
April 22, 2023

12:00 PM
Westwood Hills Memorial Park
2720 Cold Springs Road
Placerville, CA 95667


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