MARTIN, John Burkey, 51, of Colorado Springs, transformed from this life to everlasting life on Saturday, January 5, 2013, while in Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Denver, following a hard-fought battle with pneumonia and influenza B. His devoted wife, Beth, was at his side.
Both had been in Denver since September 6, 2012, as John received a life-giving bone marrow transplant for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
John was born in Columbus, Ohio, to John H. and Margaret B. Martin. He graduated from St. Charles Preparatory School in 1980 and The Ohio State University in 1984. He obtained his degree in transportation logistics from the College of Business. While there, he was enrolled in R.O.T.C., and upon graduation was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. He excelled during his eight active duty Air Force years, under the auspices of the 21st Space Wing and Headquarters Air Force Space Command. John provided outstanding missile warning support to AFSPACECOM Battle Staff during Desert Storm; and he continued in his mission support of the above for the next 21 years-initially, as a contractor, and most recently, as a program analyst for the Air Force. The leadership, knowledge, initiative, and superior work ethic he exuded during his professional career resulted in John receiving both the re-spect and affection of his many colleagues here and throughout the country.
John was a huge fan of The Ohio State University “Buckeyes.” He loved sailing and fishing-any moment on or near the water was time well spent. Some other of his many interests were Indy 500 or Formula One auto racing, gardening, music, and the arts, classic films, fine food and wine. John held his marriage to Beth, family, friendships, and faith in God closest to his heart. The priorities of one who lived well! He adored his sweet cairn terrier, Nora, who proved to be the most loving and best therapy dog in the world.
John overcame acute lymphoblastic leukemia along with its complications, and was determined to overcome the new diagnosis of MDS. He made living with and fighting against a life-threatening disease look effortless! He remained committed to his job, and worked around numerous oncology and specialty appointments, chemo therapy and medication outpatient treatments, countless blood and platelet transfusions, and an extensive and grueling pre-bone marrow transplant workup. And he did it all with strength, hope, grace, a sense of humor and love – a love that he had for life and its gifts.
John is survived by his wife of 26 years, Beth Lynn Martin nee Haverfield. Also, by his mother, Margaret B. Martin; sisters, Ellen Martin and Barbara Stearns; and niece and nephew, Kate and Jim.
He is preceded in death by his father, John H. Martin.
Beth requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Care and Share Food Bank, caringbridge. org, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, or Be the Match, The National Bone Marrow Donor Program, at marrow.org.
A memorial service in celebration of John’s life will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 219 E. Bijou St., Downtown Colorado Springs, on Monday, February 25 at 2 p.m.