James Mack Burk of Columbia died on June 4, 2012. He was a 45-year resident of Columbia.
Visitation will be from 12:00 noon to 1:00pm on Friday, June 8 at Parker Funeral Service in Columbia, Missouri. Funeral Services will be at 1:00pm at the same location. Interment will follow the service at the Columbia Cemetery.
James was born on July 1, 1931 in Muskogee, Oklahoma to John Dee Burk and Marie Kyle Burk. He attended public school in Muskogee, graduating from Central High School in the Class of 1949.
He was a graduate of Oklahoma City University. He earned two Master’s degrees and a Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He also did graduate studies at Indiana University.
He served in U.S. Army bands at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, before going overseas to be in the 60th Army Band in the (Panama) Canal Zone.
He married Bobbie Jean McBride on June 12, 1954. They were married for 52 years. She preceded him in death. Their son, James Jeffery, was born in 1956 at the Coco Solo Hospital in Cristóbal, Canal Zone.
James was band director at Classen Junior-Senior High School in Oklahoma City for 6 years and conducted several musicals.
He taught at Oklahoma College for Women, Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts, and Oklahoma City University. He joined the faculty at the University of Missouri in Columbia in 1967 and taught music theory (harmony, counterpoint, acoustics, orchestration) and other undergraduate and graduate courses. He retired in 1996 after 30 years at U.M.C. He was the President of the U.M.C. chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda (Music honor society) for 24 years and initiated the Honors Convocation for the Department of Music that has become a special annual event. He was a Friend of the Arts (a type of honorary membership) of Sigma Alpha Iota (International Music Fraternity).
James attended and presented papers at regional and national meetings of professional organizations. He was a contributor to many professional publications. He compiled and edited A Charles Ives Omnibus (Pendragon Press, 2008), a large listing of research and reference materials regarding the great American composer.
James was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Fulton, Missouri where was also an Elder. His wife, Bobbie, was the Choir Director from 1976 to 2004. James performed many flute accompaniments to the choir as well as solos.
He is survived by his son, James Jeffery Burk of Aurora, Illinois, and his sister, Barbara Burk Ferguson of Owasso, Oklahoma.
Memorials may be sent to the Dulaney-Browne Library at Oklahoma City University, 73106; Attention: the James Mack Burk Collection.