Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby club pay respects to former president John Burke

KIRKBY Lonsdale will be saying goodbye to a beloved member of the community who passed away following an illness.

John Burke passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 2 at the age of 79, after a long illness.

John and the life he left behind will be greatly missed by members of Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club and the wider farming community, in which he played a significant role in both.

Arriving in Casterton in 1986 from Ashford in Kent, John, his wife Liz, and son James quickly became known in the local community.

Both he and his family would soon become enthusiastic members of Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club with John serving as Chairman a few years later.

When acting as Chairman, he brought a safe pair of hands being both firm and fair and was respected throughout the club.

He later served as President in 1997/8 and 1998/9 seasons and was an excellent host.

John would be remembered by many for always having a welcoming smile to those he met and always offering a word of encouragement that meant so much to a lot of people.

During his working life John worked for the Meat and Livestock Commission and became well known to many farming families whom he encountered during his career. Many of them would become dear friends for years and he was respected for the decisive manner in which he carried himself.

The Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club have paid tribute to John and his family during this difficult time.

“Our thoughts are with Liz, his wife, who is the current president of the club, James their son, Sara his daughter in law and his three grandchildren, Samuel, Jake, and Sophie.”

A funeral service to celebrate John’s incredible life will take place at St Marys Church, Kirkby Lonsdale at 2.30pm on February 21.

The Westmorland Gazette | News