John Weldon Burke passed away peacefully on Thursday, the 29th day of March, 2018 in Palestine at the age of 92. Weldon was born on the 1st day of August, 1925 the oldest child of John Ronald Burke and Etta Coleman. Weldon was born in Elkhart, Texas and graduated from Elkhart High School. He attended Elkhart Church of Christ.
He married Betty Maxine Gammage on the 22nd day of December, 1945. Weldon’s grandparents were John Franklin Burke and Judie Anne Parker. Judie Anne was the daughter of John Parker and Cynthia Faith Bennett. John was the son of Elder Benjamin Parker and Irene Douthit, Benjamin was the son of Elder Daniel Parker, the founder of Pilgrim Church, and Daniel was the son of Elder John Parker who was a soldier in the American Revolution and died at Ft. Parker in 1836 when his granddaughter, Cynthia Ann, was captured by the Comanche Indians.
Weldon was retired from Dan Pennington Road Construction Company, Grapeland, Texas. After several years of being retired Mr. Burke decided to go back to work. He worked for Anderson County Precinct 1 Commissioner, Truman Starr, as a Road Foreman. After retiring for the second time, Mr. Burke continued with his cattle ranching on his farm in the Redtown Community where he was often referred to as Mayor of Redtown. He worked a full day, every day of his life. He was a good friend in the community and always ready to help his neighbors.
One of his great enjoyment and hobby was talking to his CB Buddies first thing every morning and evening while drinking his cup of coffee. He was a big fan of the Astros and Texas Rangers baseball teams.
For many years he was very involved with Pilgrim Cemetery Association, serving as Chairman of the Grounds Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Parker Reunion, held annually at Ft. Parker in Mexia, Texas.
Weldon is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Maxine Gammage, in 2011; parents, John Ronald Burke and Etta Coleman; brothers, Harold Fletcher Burke and Dell Ross Burke; sister-in-law, Wanda Burke; nephews, Paul Burke, John Burke and Grady Burke.
He is survived by his daughters, Judy Taylor and husband Jerry of Palestine, Vicki Stanfield and husband Tommy of Palestine; brothers, Don Burke and wife Sue of Elkhart, David Burke of Elkhart; sister-in-law, Patsy Burke of Elkhart; sister, Sandra Hood and husband Marc of Eastland; grandchildren, J’Ann Sartain and husband Lee of Palestine, Matthew Burke Reynolds of Beach City; great-grandchildren, Noah Alexander, Aven Alexander, both of Palestine, Mason Burke Reynolds and Macoy Burke Reynolds, both of Beach City and Shiloh Sartain of Palestine; nephews, Richard Burke and wife Michelle of Mesquite, Terry Burke and wife Lauri of Houston, Christopher Hood of Eastland and Ronald Burke and wife Hailley of Elkhart; nieces, Karen Stubblefield and husband Lyndall of Pearland, Kathy Hampshire of Rusk, Jan Stuteville and husband Mitchell of Elkhart, Staci Burke and husband Jerry Chaffin of Spring, Rita Parker and husband Roger of Elkhart and Connie Coleman of Houston.
The family is immensely grateful for the outstanding care and compassion provided by the staff of Cartmell Home for Aged and Solaris Hospice.
Friends are cordially invited to gather and celebrate Weldon’s life from five o’clock until eight o’clock in the evening on Monday, the 2nd day of April, in the Parlor and Reflection Room of Rhone Funeral Home.
The family will gather for a private interment at Pilgrim Cemetery in Elkhart, Texas.
Honored to serve as pallbearers are Matthew Reynolds, Lee Sartain, Noah Alexander, Mason Reynolds, Macoy Reynolds, Ronald Burke, Richard Burke, Terry Burke and Christopher Hood.
Honorary pallbearers will be Truman Starr, Ken Peters, Jack Selden, Blake Farmer, Ben Farmer, Edwin Ellis, Phillip “Fifthwheel” Pegoda, Ronnie “Grasscutter” Gibson and all Mr. Burke’s CB Buddies.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in Weldon’s memory can be directed towards Pilgrim Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 383, Elkhart, Texas 75839.