(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chambers, and Delegates Anderson,
Ashley,Azinger, Beane, Border and Kime)
H.C.R. 2--"Commemorating the passing of Robert William Burk,
Jr., Republican Leader of the West Virginia House of Delegates."
On Sunday the 20th day of November, 1994, the City of
Parkersburg, the County of Wood, the State of West Virginia and
the West Virginia Legislature suffered the untimely loss of an
outstanding public servant with the passing of the Honorable
Robert William Burk, Jr.
Robert W. Burk, Jr., was born on December 16, 1939, in
Parkersburg, West Virginia, the son of Robert W. and Evelyn
Simonton Burk. Bob grew up in Parkersburg and was a graduate of
Parkersburg High School. He was also a graduate of Duke
University and the West Virginia University College of Law.
After graduating from law school, Bob returned to Parkersburg and
joined his father in a successful law practice.
Bob Burk was a special individual who had a great desire to
help others. His compassion and concern for the welfare of the
citizens of Wood County and West Virginia inspired him to run for
public office in 1966. That year, at the ripe old age of 26, he
was elected to the House of Delegates. He was reelected in 1968
and in 1969 he was appointed to the West Virginia Senate. After
the unexpected death of his father in 1970, Bob put his political
career on hold and devoted his time and energy to the practice of
Bob's willingness to serve and his dedication to the people
of his district and his state never waned and he was more thanhappy to answer the call when he was appointed to the House of
Delegates in January, 1986. He was then elected to the House in
1986 and reelected to four consecutive terms. In 1988, Bob was
elected as the House Republican Leader. Affectionately known to
his Republican colleagues as "Boss Burk", he was reelected to
that position in 1990 and 1992.
Bob Burk truly loved the Legislature and the legislative
process. He never chastised or criticized a legislator for an
opposing position, and he was willing to work with any member
regardless of political affiliation to find solutions to the
problems confronting our state. A "statesman" is defined as "one
who exercises political leadership wisely without narrow
partisanship". Bob Burk was a statesman. Always considerate,
often sentimental and ever mindful of the needs of others, Bob
Burk was respected and liked by everyone.
In addition to his public service, Bob was an active member
of the First Presbyterian Church. He also dedicated much time to
various causes and was a member of numerous civic, social and
public service organizations, including the Parkersburg Rotary
Club, the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, the Wood
County Recreation Commission and the Wood County Bar Association.
He was a member BPOE 198 and served on the Advisory Board of SW
Resources, the board of directors of Commercial Bank, as chairman
of the Parkersburg Community Foundation and on the board of the
Parkersburg Boys Club.
While Bob Burk accomplished much in his life, he was most
proud of his three sons, Dr. Robert W. "Robin" Burk, III of
Birmingham, Alabama, Christopher Barrett Burk of Orlando,
Florida, and Eric Leighton Burk of Morgantown, West Virginia.
Perhaps his greatest regret would have been that he died just a
few weeks before the birth of his first grandchild, Robert
William Burk, IV.
Through his years of public service Bob Burk touched and
enriched many lives, and those who had the opportunity to know
and work with him were truly fortunate. He devoted many hours to
serving his constituents, his district, his state and its
citizens and it is most fitting that we honor his memory;
therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That deepest regret and sorrow are hereby expressed by the
members of this body at the passing of Robert W. Burk, Jr.,
leader, statesman and friend; and, be it
That the Clerk of the House of Delegates
be hereby directed to forward copies of this resolution to the
members of his family.