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John R. Burke
First Lieutenant, United States Army
Foreign Service Officer
Wisconsin State Flag
From a contemporary press report:

John R. Burke, 68, a Madison, Wisconsin, native who served as a US ambassador and State Dept administrator, died Sunday, August 7, 1993, at his Arlington, Virginia, home after suffering a heart attack. Mr Burke was ambassador to Guyana from 1977-79. It was during that period that James Jones brought his religious cult to that country. Mr Burke was confronted with the shooting death of a US congressman and the mass suicide of 900 of Jones' followers.

After dealing with those tragic events, Mr Burke returned to Washington, D.C., where he served as deputy assistant secretary of state for administration and later received the department's Superior Honor Award.

Mr Burke served in the Korean conflict, then earned a master's degree at the Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was an instructor and asst to the director of the Wisconsin Historical Society. He held earlier Foreign Service positions in Bangkok, Paris, Saigon and Haiti. He also served as director of the State Department's Office of Caribbean Affairs.

Survivors include his wife, Amelie Cecillion Burke, of Arlington. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 am Fri at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington, Virginia. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery.



Posted: 22 August 2000 Updated: 22 February 2003 Updated: 23 April 2006