According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, Burke, of Monett, was killed when his 2011 Toyota Camry collided with the rear end of a 2005 Kenworth FMC transport tanker truck around 6:24 p.m. in the south turning lane of the highway.
Burke served as Barry County prosecuting attorney from 1975 until 1981 and was a past president of the 39th Judicial Bar Association. Burke wrote many ordinances for the City of Monett while his law partnership, Burke and Sweeney, served as city attorney from 1996 to 2001. He was municipal judge for Monett from 1984 to 1995 and from 2003 to 2008. He took assignments by the circuit court to serve as municipal judge in many area communities where a city judge had been recused from a case. He was named to the circuit court bench by Governor Bob Holden in 2001. He also served as municipal judge for many local jurisdictions, including Cassville.
Burke was also active in many community and civic organizations. He served two terms on the Monett School Board, from 1981 to 1987, was a past member of the Monett Kiwanis Club, the Masonic Lodge and was past president of the Monett Shiners' Club.
Burke was the past president of the Monett Area Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer driver for the local Loaves and Fishes program in Monett. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Monett and also served on the advisory board for Cox Monett Hospital.
Burke's obituary is published in this week's newspaper.