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Dale Burke honored with proclamation

Thursday, August 2, 2012

In honor of longtime Monett Municipal Judge Dale Burke, Judge Michael D. Garrett read a proclamation in Burke's honor at Monett Municipal Court on Tuesday, with Mayor Jim Orr at his side. The flag at the Justice Center courtroom will remain at half-staff in Burke's honor for one week. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Longtime municipal court judge and public servant W. Dale Burke was honored by the City of Monett this week with a proclamation in his honor issued by the Monett City Council.

Mayor Jim Orr appeared in Monett Municipal Court with Judge Michael Garrett on Tuesday for the reading of the proclamation for Burke, who was killed in a vehicle crash in Monett on July 25 at age 75.

Garrett pointed out that the flag at the court was flying at half-staff in Burke's honor.

"Those of us who had the privilege of serving with Judge Burke will miss him, as will his family, friends and fellow attorneys," Garrett said.

The proclamation, signed by Mayor Orr and commissioners Mike Brownsberger and Jerry Dierker, reads:

"The city council of the City of Monett hereby orders that the city flag, located at the Monett Municipal Court, be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, to honor the memory of Monett lawyer and former judge W. Dale Burke.

"Judge Burke served as Monett municipal judge for 17 years, until December of 2008, and died on July 25, 2012, as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident on that date.

"The city council further proclaims that this declaration be publicly read at the Monett Municipal Court session on July 31, 2012, in memory of W. Dale Burke."

Burke moved to Monett in August of 1971. He re­ceived a bachelor of science degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia in 1959. He completed his law degree from the University of Arkansas in 1973.

Burke served as Barry County pros­ecutor from 1975 to 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.

Burke also served as the mu­nicipal judge for Monett from 1984 to 1995. He also served as municipal judge for many local jurisdictions, including Aurora and Cassville.

Burke was named to associate circuit court judge in Barry County by Governor Bob Holden in 2001. After completing his term, he was reappointed as municipal judge in Monett, serving from January 2003 to December 2008.

As an active member of the community, Burke was past president of the Monett Chamber of Commerce and served two terms on the Monett R-1 Board of Education, from 1981 to 1987. He was a past president of the Monett Shrine Club, a member of the First United Methodist Church in Monett for many years and held many leadership positions in the church, including volunteering at the Community Kitchen.

Burke was a past member of the Monett Kiwanis Club and served on the advisory board for Cox Monett Hospital. He has been a precinct committeeman for the Democrat Party in Monett for over 20 years.

Burke is survived by his wife, Sharon, four grown children, a brother and a sister.

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