Published in Belleville News-Democrat from October 9 to October 10, 2010
Dean M. Burk, 62, of Highland, Ill., born Oct. 24, 1947, in East St. Louis, Ill., died Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, at his residence.
On June 29, 1967, he married Janean Clare Sentenne, of Highland, Ill., in Quincy, Ill. They went on to have three boys. That marriage ended in 1975. In 1979, he married Vickie Vanzo, in Marine, Ill. They went on to have a daughter. That marriage ended in 1984.
Dean grew up in Lebanon, Ill., moved to Highland where he became a star athlete in baseball and basketball. He graduated Highland High School in 1966. He was then selected by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the 1966 Major League Baseball Player draft, chosen 5th overall. An unfortunate arm injury, early on, ended what appeared to be a very promising professional career. After baseball, he returned to Highland and opened up Buffalo Brewing Co., which he ran for several years. He then went on to work with E. F. Trucking for many years. Up to the end, Dean was a big supporter of Highland Bulldogs sports, and remained a passionate fan of the Chicago Cubs. He was an avid hunter and collector of American Indian artifacts since he was seven years old. He was a proud member of Illinois Archeological Society.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar "Bud" and Madella, nee Schaefer, Burk; a grandson, Jonathan Burk; a sister, Jeanne Weiss; two brothers-in-law, Carl Weiss and Lowell Burger.
Surviving are his children, Dean Michael (Jennifer) Burk, Jr., of Naperville, Ill., Matthew (Tina) Burk of Oak Park, Ill., Jonathan (Veronica) Burk of Western Springs, Ill., and Casie (Timothy) Burk Jones of Springfield, Ill.; nine grandchildren, Jack, TJ, Mikey, Tommy, Lucy, Annie, Madisyn, Mia, Greyson; two sisters, Patricia Burger of Lebanon, Ill., and Joan (Ron) Christ of Lebanon, Ill.; a brother, Terry Burk of New York, N.Y.; several loving nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Lee Iten Post 439 American Legion
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010, and from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, at Meridith Funeral Home, Highland, Ill.
Funeral: Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Lebanon, Ill., with the Rev. Charles A. Edwards, Pastor, St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, Ill., officiating. Interment will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Lebanon, IL, at a later date.