John G. Burk Sr.

James W. Shirley Funeral Home

Obituaries | The Tube City Almanac | March 06, 2020

John G. Burk, Sr., formerly of Herminie, passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 100 years of age. John was born August 19, 1919 on a farm now known as Kerber’s Dairy. He spent his youth living and working on tenant farms rented by his grandfather during the Great Depression and graduated from Norwin High School in 1938. He married Betty Mae Stough on August 11, 1943. John was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941 and served at Fort Slocum in New Rochelle, New York during World War II, until his discharge in 1945, having attained the rank of sergeant. John and Betty settled in North Huntingdon to raise their family. John was a rural carrier for the United States Post Office, sold insurance and worked as an investigator for Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebeneck & Eck until his retirement.
While he may have left the farm, the farm never left John. He was a lifelong lover of horses, dogs, hunting, the outdoors, cowboy songs and bluegrass music. John was a gifted fiddle player, dabbled with the guitar and dulcimer, and recorded a few albums that are treasured by his family. He enjoyed woodworking, making small crafts as well as building and refinishing furniture. John’s family will particularly miss his wit, charm and quirky sayings, aphorisms and songs.
John was preceded in death by Betty, his wife of 68 years, his brothers Joseph and William Burk, sister Mary Gess and daughter-in-law Judy Burk. He is survived by his son, John G. Burk Jr. and daughters Roxy Palmer (Alan), Betty Harris (Jay) and Donna Kenney (Lawrence); grandchildren John Garret Burk, Nicholas Brannick (Erin), John (J.J.) Jankowski (Kelli), Ashley Riestra (Fernando) and Logan Jankowski; and great-grandchildren, Liam, Kaelin and Nathaniel Brannick, Conor Jankowski and Emma Riestra.
Friends will be received from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, March 10 at the JAMES W. SHIRLEY FUNERAL HOME, 176 Clay Pike, North Huntingdon. Service will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 11 in the funeral home chapel. Entombment will be in Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont with military honors. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Stephen Filler Tunnel to Towers.

Originally published March 06, 2020.

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