John Edward Burleson Jr.

John Edward Burleson Jr., BBA ’79, JD ’81, went to be with his Lord and Savior Aug. 19, 2022. John is survived by his wife, Debra; his children, Jim (Kristi), Scott (Catherine) and Meg; his grandchildren, Lucy and Jane; his mother, Carolyne; and his brother, Charles.

A lifelong resident of Waco, John graduated from Richfield High School in 1975, Baylor University in 1979 and Baylor Law School in 1981. John was a long-time member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, where he married Debra in 1979. He served the church in numerous capacities including Sunday School director and deacon. John had a gift for service — a gift he sought to use wherever needed.

He faithfully worked at the same law firm his entire career, eventually becoming a partner. He served in many local organizations, including the Optimist Club, Rotary, the Board of Directors at First National Bank of Central Texas, Kids Hope USA, Greater Waco Legal Services and others, most for a decade or longer.

John was a champion of the Baylor Bears. With his family in tow, John traveled thousands of miles to watch Baylor games and rarely missed a football, basketball or baseball game at home.

His family was privileged to watch him live out his faith to the end, not wanting to leave us yet looking forward to heaven. He was our steady rock, guiding us along our journey. We mourn his passing, but celebrate a life well lived.

His family thanks the countless doctors, nurses and staff at MD Anderson who cared for John throughout his diagnoses of CLL and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and ultimately his successful stem cell transplant.

Additionally, his family thanks Fred Johnson, Al Childs, Mike Buckley, Bill Mearse, Randy Mull and Gene Fisseler who drove John to MDA or sat through treatments with him. John had many friends who sent encouraging cards over the past year and friends who regularly called or texted. The family also is grateful to Drs. Okani and Artie Sudan, friends and physicians, and the MDA team of Dr. Burger, Dr. Hosing, Dr. Fayad, and Dr. Popat. John also received special encouragement and advice from fellow stem cell journeymen, Peter B. and Joe Griffin.