John F. Burke
June 3, 1929 – February 23, 2019
John Francis Burke, (June 3, 1929 – February 23, 2019) the last-named surviving principal of Bulman, Dunie, Burke and Feld, died after an extended illness at his home in Bethany Beach Delaware surrounded by his loving and devoted family. A homegrown talent, John was born in Washington, DC, attended Gonzaga College High School and Georgetown University undergraduate and law school. He is survived by his wife, Joanne Yarnall Burke, five children, Patricia Ann Connor, Joan Rubertone, John F. Burke, Jr., Martin Burke and Cecilia D’Orazio, and fourteen grandchildren.
A man of heartfelt religious and moral principles, John epitomized the qualities of a true professional – civility, strength of conviction and advocacy, tempered with compassion and justice. These qualities were evident over the years as John assessed the frailties and indiscretions of other lawyers as a member of Inquiry Panel of the Attorney Grievance Commission and later as a member of the Attorney Peer Review Committee. And again, as Chair of the Bar Association’s Mentor-Mentee Committee and its Professionalism & Quality of Life Committee. And yet again as co-founder of the Bar Association’s Voluntary Arbitration Committee. For these efforts and others, the Bar Association twice recognized John as Co-chairman of the year.
Besides these commitments, John added his specialized skill and expertise in family law matters to provide guidance to practitioners as the Chair of the Family Law Section and utilized all this experience as a mediator under the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (ADR) reconciling family law conflicts in this non-judicial setting.
A patriot, John served his country through military service and as a dedicated church member, his faith through countless hours of volunteer service starting as a teenager.
Those of us who knew John recognized in him above all else, his sense of loyalty. John’s friendship meant an unending lifelong commitment to his friends and colleagues. And we at Bulman Dunie benefited from this dedication in countless ways, from the annual Holiday remembrances, to the “couldn’t forget your . . .” phone call, to the fostering of the office culture we cherish.
It is with a heavy heart we recognize his passing, but, we are truly better off having shared our lives with his.
Barry M. Nudelman