Judge John P. Burke, Jr.

 The Journey Continues --  Judge John P. Burke, Jr. 


     My journey this week takes me to Judge John P. Burke Jr. Born and raised in San Antonio, he graduated from high school on the high plains from Monterey High School in Lubbock, TX. He earned both his Bachelor of Arts (History) and Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas, Austin. From 1967 to 1970 he served with the U.S. Army —one year in Thailand. He retired from the United States Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.

     Before coming to San Marcos, he had a law practice in Dripping Springs and served in a myriad of responsible civic and professional positions.

     In San Marcos, he has served as the presiding judge from 2006 - 2018 at the San Marcos Municipal Court of Record and now he serves as a part time municipal court judge. Judge Burke has conducted bond hearings, set bail amounts and bail conditions; presided over hearings and trials and issued emergency protective orders. Over his long career he has held many Certifications to include: Member, State Bar of Texas; U.S. Supreme Court; Circuit Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit; District Court of the Virgin Islands and U.S. Court of Military Appeals.

     When I visited with Judge Burke he said, “That from nearly 40 years of dispensing justice, I can categorically state that the overwhelming majority of offenders are incarcerated because of the misuse and abuse of drugs and/or alcohol ---they ruin lives.”

     His core qualifications that guide him as a judge are based on ethical, unbiased standards to hear conflicting claims and then render an opinion based on his understanding of the law, which requires deliberation and decision-making skills.

     Judge Burke has worked over 35 years alongside Rosemary Burke and Charlie Campise as a volunteer board member with the Burke Foundation. The Burke Foundation is a Texas Chartered Residential Treatment Facility for abused and neglected boys, ages 6-16. Usually there are twenty-one boys resident at any time. The foundation has offices in many south Texas cities to provide placement in foster care for children in custody of the state.  They also provide adoption services. He concluded, “I have personally fostered 20 children throughout the past years.”

He continued, “I have a guiding principle — the 'Golden Rule,' Matthew 7:12 (NIV) “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”  A believer, he attends St. John Catholic Church.

A widower, he was married to Sherry Riddle for 39 years, his family includes one son, two adopted sons and one granddaughter and soulmate, Virginia.

Jim Lanning -- San Marcos Record, March 8, 2020