John “Jack” L. Burge

Born: 07/31/1939 Passed:

John “Jack” L. Burge age 80, passed away peacefully in Aurora Ohio on November 15, 2019 with his wife and three daughters by his side. He was preceded in death by his father Guy Burge and mother Georgia Burge (Linter) and brother William “Bill” Burge. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Patricia Mae Burge (Hemping), his daughters Becky Ziegler (Terry), Megan James (Mike), Shannon Williamson (Mark) and his seven grandchildren Blake (25), Corey (25), Mackenzie (23), Bryson (22), Evan (18), Nathan (13) and Caroline (10). Jack, or as his family knows him “Pops”, was a proud husband, father and most importantly a loving grandfather who will be deeply missed.

Jack grew up in Charles City Iowa, an accomplished eagle scout and outdoorsman, he treasured his small-town life. Attending the University of Iowa, he was a member of Delta Upsilon and led the student card section for all home football games. Jack was a lifelong Hawkeye fan who loved meeting Iowa alumni anywhere he went and often was heard to say “Hawkeye out” when leaving a room.

While at the University of Iowa he fell in love with Pat and they were married in 1962. Jack was a family man and to care for his family, he worked incredibly hard. He began his career at The Dayton-Hudson Company in Minneapolis as a buyer. In 1968, he moved his young family to Brecksville Ohio and for the next 15 years he rose through the ranks at Richman Brothers, traveling extensively around the world. He continued with successful runs at several home retailers including Wallpapers to Go and Collins and Aikman/Fashion Wallcoverings.

In 1985, Jack and his family settled in Aurora, Ohio and he began the entrepreneurial stage of his career with Holsman Sign Services and Kent State University where he loved to help students create and operate their own small businesses as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence. These roles led him to be more involved in the community of Aurora and he eventually became the Director of Economic and Entrepreneurial Development. He was instrumental in bringing new business to this growing city and spearheading new events like the Aurora Farmer’s Market. Never one to sit still, Jack continued to work in these three positions until his passing.

Jack was a 4.5 tennis player with a wicked spin serve, but the thing he loved most was the close friendships he formed on his trips to Kiawah with his tennis buddies, which always included a lot of oysters and poker.

Jack was a member of The Church in Aurora, helping raise funds and serving whenever asked.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, November 23 at 11:00 am at the Church in Aurora, 146 S. Chillicothe Rd., Aurora, Ohio. Donations may be made in Jack’s honor to the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business at Kent State University at Condolences can be shared with his family online at

Heritage Cremation Society


4 Tributes to John “Jack” L. Burge

  1. Ken Lahmers says:

    I am sorry to learn of the news of Jack’s passing. I spoke with him many times during my editorship at the Aurora Advocate, and he was always very cooperative and provided me with much appreciated information. We talked several times about the former Oliver Tractor Co., which had a plant in his hometown of Charles City.

  2. Mary Bea Eaton says:

    Megan, so sorry for your loss. You have been a support through the death of both my parents and I just wanted you and your family to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. While I didn’t know your dad, it sounds like you have a lot of his qualities.

  3. Rich Wanders says:

    Jack was a good friend on the tennis court and off. He was a great example of selflessness with his many volunteer endeavors. He will be missed by all, and It was my honor to know him.

  4. Gordon Peterson says:

    Jack was a good friend. He and I graduated together at the Charles City, Iowa High School in 1957 and roomed together for a time and graduated together from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. I never knew Jack to be critical of anyone and was always interested in others, all with a warm smile and a sincere”How are you going”? Jack was a loyal friend, an Educator at Kent State, an organizer at the City of Aurora, a super athlete as a tennis champion in the Ohio (he andI played baseball together in High School),a very successful business owner, an Eagle Boy Scout, a master emcee and speaker at our class reunions and a family man who loved his wife Pat and family above all.I would call my friend Jack a “Stellar citizen of the World”, who was committed to his family, friends, God and country and being the person he could be—and he was just that. Jack’s CCHS1957 Classmates all wish Pat and the Burge family our sincere condolences. He will be missed by all. RIP Jack. “HAWKEYE OUT”.

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