Paul “Bud” Burke passed away on August 17, 2017. He died peacefully at home surrounded by family.
Bud was born on January 4, 1934 in Kansas City, Missouri to Paul and Virginia Burke. Bud was an avid Jayhawk and life-long devoted Kansan. He graduated from Shawnee Mission High School in 1952 and from the University of Kansas in 1956 earning letters in tennis and swimming.
Bud served the State of Kansas as President of the Senate from 1989-1997 and as Majority Leader from 1985-1988. He served in numerous national governmental leadership positions including, President of the National Conference of State Legislatures and he was appointed by President Bush to the United States Trade Commission Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee.
Bud served his country as a United States Air force fighter pilot, and later as a carrier trained navy aviator in the United States Navy Reserves retiring as a Captain.
Bud served his alma mater, the University of Kansas, in many different capacities, most recently as a member of the National Board of Directors for the KU Alumni Association.
Bud was a business owner- the owner of WebbCo, Inc. a Kansas City, Missouri Industrial and Engineering equipment company until he sold the business in 1986. He was Senior Vice President of and investment banker at Ranson Capital Corporation from 1986-1994 and President and Owner of Issues Management Group, Inc. a governmental and public affairs organization from 1996 until he retired.
Bud is survived by his wife, Debbie, his sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Kane, four daughters – Anne Burke (and husband, Dee), Kelly Barnett (and husband, Marc), Cathy Rhodes (and husband Rocky), and Jenny Roth (and husband, Cameron). He is Grandpa to 15 grandchildren, 3 great granddaughters and a fourth great granddaughter on the way.
Bud and Debbie loved to travel. And travel, they did- all over the world. Bud loved his family, his Jayhawks, his state and his country. He was a statesman, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was a fearless fighter pilot and our hero.
Memorials may be made to Corpus Christi Church, Lawrence, Ks., KU Endowment Association and the Compassionate Care Hospice – all c/o Warren McElwain Mortuary, 120 W 13th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044. Memorial services will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 22 at 1:00 at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Lawrence, Kansas. We will celebrate his life at the KU Alumni Association after the ceremony.
Bud’s limitless energy, joy for life, love of family, and his stories (sometimes embellished) will be missed.