Funeral Service For John Paul Burke

Video of the service will be made available at 2:30 PM on Saturday 8/22/20

John Paul Burke Obituary

John Paul Burke, 27, of Lakota, IA, passed away on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN, from a herniated brain stem injury sustained in a motorcycle accident that occurred on August 16, 2020.

A celebration of life will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds at Thompson, IA, with Pastor Rod Hopp of Bethany Lutheran Church of Thompson officiating. A gathering of friends and family will be held one hour prior to services.

Private family burial of his cremains will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery in Thompson immediately following the service.


John was born on January 11, 1993, in Rochester, MN, the son of James Burke Sr. and Carolyn (Johnson) (Burke) Flo. He was baptized at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church of St. Charles, MN, and confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church of Thompson, IA. This unique Christian combination resulted in John claiming to be a “Catheran”.

John graduated from North Iowa Community Schools of Buffalo Center, IA, in 2011. He served in the Air Force for 6 years at Nellis Air Force Base as an Electrical Power Production Engineer. He received the rank of Senior Airman.  During that time, he built hospitals in the Dominican Republic and landing strips in Greenland. The last two years, John returned home and worked for the city of Buffalo Center, loved by many as “John the Garbageman”.

John’s greatest loves in his life were his huskies- Kota and Sophie.

At a young age, John found his love for anything he could take apart and put back together. He enjoyed buying old cars and bringing them back to life- his favorite being his El Camino. In later years, John especially enjoyed riding his motorcycle with friends.

Beyond working on cars, John’s talented hands also loved to create through the art of drawing and graffiti.

John was an avid fan of the outdoors, where you could find him snowboarding, tubing down the river, or kayaking on a lake or river. He also enjoyed hunting and was proud of his 10-point buck named “Murphy”.

John has been known to enjoy quality time with friends, often seen with a contagious smile on his face, a cold beer in his hand, and a witty sense of humor that could make anyone laugh.

John is survived by his parents James Burke Sr. of St. Charles, MN; Carolyn and Scott Flo of Thompson, IA; grandfathers Bill Burke of St. Charles, MN; Eston Johnson of Thompson, IA; siblings James Burke, Thomas and Patrick Flo of Thompson, IA; Cassandra Burke of Iowa City, IA; Jacob Burke and Lexi Burt of St. Charles, MN; godchildren Jax and Quentin John Earp of Buffalo Center, IA; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He is preceded in death by grandmothers Joanne (Koepsel) Burke; Linda (Pech) Johnson; grandfather Jon C Flo; aunt Patricia Burke; and great uncle Doug Pech.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to Mission 22 (veteran suicide awareness) or Life Source (organ, eye &  tissue donation) in memory of John.