Judge Warren C BurkApril 8, 1935 ~ April 13, 2017 (age 82)
Retired Florida Circuit Court Judge Warren Willard Carl Burk was born in Michigan. He decided at age 12 to become an attorney and later become a judge when he grew up. He began working after school and on summer breaks to save money for college since he was one of four children. Burk graduated with honors from Northwestern University in Chicago then earned his Juris Doctor degree with honors from the University of Detroit School of Law. He died at age 82 on Thursday, April 13, 2017 after a lengthy illness aware he had achieved his life goals through deep faith in God and perseverance. Burk worked hard from ages 12-72 while maintaining his wonderful sense of humor, loving kindness and strong desire to serve his community. He served 20 years in the USAF Reserve.
While on the job he heard an ever-growing number of horror stories plaguing the lives of abused children and presided over emotionally trying criminal cases. Burk’s work – from courtroom to charity gatherings – garnered him praise and respect from jurists, attorneys, and workers in the justice community as well as his fellow citizens. His courtroom sidebar talks kept attorneys focused on case law.
Burk, who lived in Viera, had come to Florida to serve as an attorney for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. He worked there for 10 years on various contracts that helped to propel the fledgling space program on its way to the moon. Burk then had a small general law private practice before working a decade as an assistant state attorney in Florida’s 18thCircuit. There he worked in child support enforcement, oversaw the Consumer Protection Division, served as Brevard’s chief of the white-collar crime division with additional duties as a felony prosecutor.
He felt he needed experience in defense law prior to running for a judicial seat so he and fellow attorney and friend, Bill Meyer, opened Burk & Meyer, P.A., a successful small criminal defense firm. Burk was elected judge in Florida’s 18th Circuit in November 1994 and served two terms before retiring in December 2006. Judge Burk presided over the various circuit divisions in rotation yet had a preference for serving the juvenile division. In addition, he served as chair of the Judicial Speaker’s Bureau, as chair of the Jail Oversight Committee, and as first of the Brevard judges presiding over Adult Drug Court.
Judge Burk was an active community leader serving numerous organizations before, during and after elective office. Among them were: Law Library at the Moore Justice Center, Brevard County Bar Association, Vassar B. Carlton American Inn of Court, League of Women Voters of the Space Coast, Space Coast Tiger Bay Club, Friends of the Suntree/Viera Library, Children’s Home Society, and Brevard County Civilian/Military Council. He deeply loved his wife, family and friends. Burk’s hobbies and interests included reading courtroom mysteries, sailing, yoga, walking miles along coastlines, hiking mountain and desert trails, swimming and loving his dogs, especially Kenzy, his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
He was a founding member and a former reader of the liturgy at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Community. Judge Burk was a member of Faith “Viera” Lutheran Church in recent years.
Burk is survived by his loving spouse, Kay Elliott Burk; Son, Kevin Joseph Burk (wife Jennifer); Stepdaughter, Lisa Burke (husband Robert G. Burke); Granddaughters, Laura and Lesley Burke and Alyssa Burk; Sisters, Janice Burk and Cynthia Mooney. Other family members related to son Kevin include Scott Slagle and Brandon Barron.
A Celebration of Life is taking place at 1:00 P.M., Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Faith “Viera” Lutheran Church, 5550 Faith Drive, Rockledge, Florida 32955. A reception will be held at the church after the service. You may sign Judge Burk’s guest book at www.beckman-williamson.com
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial gifts be made to Faith “Viera” Lutheran Church Building Fund, Hospice of St. Francis or a community charity of your choice.