John Richard Burck came into this world on June 22, 1942. He told his last inappropriate joke and then escaped this mortal realm, surprisingly, without much fight on August 13, 2022 at Wilson Medical Center after a short battle with throat cancer just in time to spiritually attend every Kansas City Chiefs game this season. The son of Erwin William Burck and Leona Gertrude Fowler Burck McKibben, he was 80, an eater of chili, maker of biscuits and gravy with pickled beets, chewer of Skoal, drinker of cold beer, warm beer and hot beer at the American Legion.
Raised in Sycamore proper, he attended the Sycamore school until 8th grade and narrowly escaped Neodesha High School in 1960. Following in big brother Captain Clarence William (Bill) Burck’s footsteps, the day after graduation at 17, he enlisted at the US Navy Recruitment Office downtown Independence with his dear friend, Dick Chipman (Sycamore), and protected our freedom here and abroad for 24 years as a hospital corpsman. Among his many service accolades, he earned his jump wings, marksmanship medal and longstanding friendship from troops under his command as a senior chief petty officer. He also famously broke his ankle yet raised thousands for Children’s Medical Center playing shortstop during televised softball games with Playboy Bunnies in the early 1980’s at the now decommissioned NAS Dallas. But, he was never prouder than when his son, John Richard Burck, II (Sycamore), joined the Navy in 1994.
His joy was his overly patient wife of 35 years, Jayne Allen Burck, and bragging about her BBQ, potato salad and blackberry pie. He loved talking motorcycles, cars and snow with stepson, William Allen Dozier and wife, Rebecca (Saginaw, MI). He fiercely protected his brilliant kids, Cindi Burck Alsobrook and John John, and his kids’ equally awesome friends: Wilma Davis (Indep), Dana Mundy (Indep), Carolyn Kelley (Poplar Bluff, MO), Kerry Henson (Chanute), Rex Horning (Indep) and Scotty Plisek (Sycamore); all whom he held in such high regard that he welcomed them to store beer in his garage fridge, allegedly. He is also survived by his first wife and kids’ mom, Connie Powell Burck App (Umatilla, FL); grandchildren: Samuel, Seth, Slater, Sunny Lee, Kylah and Sean; and his son in law of 30 years and partner of all things misdemeanor, Joel Robert Alsobrook (Hilton Head Island, SC).
He was an exceptional Chiefs fan before it was cool. And, while his daughter is a former five year Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, the only time he supported the ‘Boys was when watching Super Bowl XXX in a red sweatshirt doing the chop. He liked naming his cows, shooting his guns, trotline fishing on the Verdigris River, watching wild turkeys wander, hunting deer and squirrels, training cats how to fetch and taking in all God’s creatures that happened upon his porch on his Sycamore farm he’s owned since 1977. He did not like oatmeal or Jerry Jones.
His family tolerated his singing Patsy Cline songs, his refusal to Google anything, his slow driving the back way into town and his retelling of wrangling an alligator at his first duty station on Parris Island. He is remembered for saying, “Bridges freeze quicker than the road,” “One man can change the world with a bullet in the right place,” and “Fire when ready, Gridley.” No one will miss his imitation of Sinatra’s “I did it myyy waaay!” except maybe his 16 cats and a few chickens.
Never one for sentiment or pity, well wishers are encouraged to raise a drink in his honor then go see the new Top Gun movie.
To leave a special message for the family please visit www.webbrodrickchapel.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Webb & Rodrick Chapel and Crematory.