John Wesley Burge
John Wesley Burge
  • September 11, 1932 - September 29, 2017
  • Pensacola, Florida

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Oak Lawn Funeral Home

619 New Warrington Road
Pensacola, FL 32506
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John Wesley Burge IV, (Sonny) born to John W Burge III and Mary Jo Burge ( Guest) in Mobile, AL September 11, 1932 went to join Christ his Savior. Sept. 29, 2017. John was reared in Pensacola, FL and grew up in Beach Haven on Bayou Grande. As a graduate of Pensacola HS and charter member of the Warrington Presbyterian Church he called Pensacola home. He proudly served his country in the USAF, and was a Korean War veteran. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies earning a BSEE. Masters in Economics, a MBA and a PhD in Aerospace Project management. In addition to his military service, John also served his country as a "Covert Industrial Operative" for an intelligence agency and continued to support this and other quiet intel agencies in multiple capacities for many years. Early in his professional career he was president of Rantec Corporation and led a team for NASA that secured satellite communications for Apollo 13. He advanced in his field to become President of the Electronics and Space Division of Emerson Electric, Co., in St. Louis, MO, negotiating high level and often confidential business in more than 40 countries. During this time, John and his wife Polly made lifelong friendships with associates throughout the world. John also served on a number of boards of both private and public companies throughout his aerospace career, and was a mentor and teacher for several young adults.
John retired 1980 and built a home in Grande Lagoon, Pensacola, FL. He and Polly also owned a waterfront Villa in the Dutch Caribbean on the Island of Bonaire where they enjoyed the island life of diving and local culture.
John had a number of hobbies. He was a life member of the NRA. He was a Specialty dive instructor for the Cave Diving Section of the National Speleological Society in which he was a life member and a Life Fellow in the National Association for Cave Diving. He authored several books, was a published underwater photographer and was integral in pioneering cave surveying and cartography as an underwater cave explorer.
John was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, "Polly" (Shirley Roberts), and is survived by his five children: John W. Burge V (Lucinda), Carol Delene Burge Cole (Les), Eric William Burge, Kurt Roberts Burge (Linda) and Karen Kristan Burge Gavaletz (Rick). He is also survived by twelve grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and two sisters, Carol Cline Burge Larsen of Tucson, AZ and Thea Judith Burge Coker of Pensacola, FL and their children, his dearly loved Nieces and beloved Nephew. John is also survived by his and Polly's devoted caregiver and lifetime companion Donna Lynch Minton.
The family will receive guests 6- 8 pm Saturday Oct 7th for visitation at the Oak Lawn Funeral Home, 619 New Warrington Road, Pensacola, FL, 32506, tel. 850-453-2321. Funeral services will be Sunday October 8th at 12pm with an open house celebration of life following at the family home 9850 Sidney Road from 3-5 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests your favorite charity or preferably donations to the Perdido Bay United Methodist Church, 13660 Innerarity Point Rd, Pensacola, FL 32507, (850) 492-2135.
Oak Lawn Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.