Climber Profile

Tom Burke
Tom Burke
photo© Greg Epperson
An early member of the infamous “Stahl Brothers” clan, Tom Burke has been a tromping around Joshua Tree as a new route activist for the last two decades.

A schoolteacher in Los Angeles by profession, his dedication to climbing and world travels has earned him much respect, admiration and envy. He travels around the world on a whim as long as there’s a mountain, crag bar or beach to check out.

He climbs surprising well for a big dude; he’s pushing 200, and his heroic leads and non-stop travels have given resulted in an impressive resume of climbs, areas and peaks.

After a bout with cancer that slowed him down for about a year, he came back as strong, motivated and loud as ever.

One of the early explorers of Queen Mountain, and a true hard-core Joshua Tree pioneer, he’s explored most areas around here and probably has done a new route in there. Basically he climbs at Joshua Tree so much, he should move here, but he likes the SoCal beach scene too much.

When Burke’s around, it’s party time and you’re guaranteed to have a full adventure. Tom doesn’t keep track of his climbs or have an extensive or organized tick list, or give a damn about too much other than having a good time climbing. Hard climbs, easy climbs, short climbs, wall climbs, clean or loose, it doesn’t matter, Burke’s all over it.

Tom and the crew at Todd's Bachelor Party

 Tom Burke


Tom Burke

Author Subject: Tom Burke
Eva Posted At 03:44:45 04/07/2006
Tom Burke passed away this evening. His cancer had come back after a long remission.
Robert Fonda Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 06:26:39 04/07/2006

This is very sad news. Tom was a wonderful guy and an excellent friend. Tucker and I will miss him at the boardroom.

Rest my friend.

Robert Fonda Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 07:48:22 04/07/2006

A tribute to Tom.

Here's to the man who was on the FA team for Grab My Sack For A Toy on Santa Claus Rock in JT. Here's to the man that once stood in front of Tucker and I at the chicken coop and said "See that chicken? I'm going to f#ck it!". Here's to the tosser of lit cigarette butts into the tip can at the Santanas drive through thinking it was a trash bin. Here's to the man who once lubbed a chicks rectum with shampoo.

Tom was one of the most unique men I have ever met. He always had a smile on his face and was a constant source of entertainment. I have so many fond memories of Tom that will live on. Tom was also generous to a fault. Always quick to buy the beer or put up money for food. If you were broke, Tom would chip in more.

I'm really going to miss him.

Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 08:54:12 04/07/2006

I can't imagine anything sadder... I am fully over come with grief...
Pat Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 09:43:23 04/07/2006

This is such a bummer. Tom always buzzed with positive vibes and good humor.

Todd, I know he was one of your bestest friends and my sincere sympathies and condolences go out to you.

Too many friends have been checking out way to soon and I want it to stop. Please.
jack Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 09:50:30 04/07/2006

This is very sad news, makes me want to cry. Can somebody post a picture of Tom in happier days?
larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 09:51:21 04/07/2006

A big void just opened up with loss of him.

I have great memories of fun times with Tom

de Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 10:31:31 04/07/2006

I'm so sad. Tom was one of our oldest friends. I was sure we would see him at KP's.
larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 11:17:49 04/07/2006

The Club just won't be the same with the loss of one of the founding members

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larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 11:32:25 04/07/2006

Tom's response when I asked if I could join the club

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Tom lying in wait for some unsuspecting female

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Tom's response to the old adage "Never step on the rope"

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GLenn Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 11:36:56 04/07/2006

Tom will forever be a member of the "club"....and we'll miss him dearly.
larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 11:39:17 04/07/2006

just another typical day for the "three T's" Tom, Tucker and Todd

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Randy Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 12:15:01 04/07/2006

This is very sad news. Tom was such a great person.

Larry, thanks for posting those pictures, all classic Burke shots.
larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 14:42:26 04/07/2006

Good times were guaranteed with Tom

Tom's humor could keep you in stitches, endlessly

Sadly, Tom was my friend for way too short of a time

He would call me a loser over some bonehead move and the next minute put his arm around me and tell you how glad he was to have me as a friend.

I'll see you again Thomas and you better have a beer waiting for me and the ropes flaked out
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 16:15:32 04/07/2006

Burkester, Burkemeister, Burkehole, Burkaholic, Burkulator, Burkeman, T. Burkulosis, Blurke, Burkuleese.......Thomas Burke. ......Today is one of the saddest days in my life......I have a few friends which I call my best friends.....Tom is on that very small list.......Tom is on alot of peoples list for best friend......He's Tucker's best buddy, Al's, Rober's, Blitzos, Reagans, Larry's , Glens, .......Evans, Stahl Bros....the list is long.........AND he was a teacher to a whole class of little kids who got the education of their life by having such a fun and wacky teacher as Tom..........He has close to a dozen brother and sisters (Large Irish Catholic thing...)...and parents that will miss him dearly.......Every week-end for many,many, many years......I look forward to climbing with Tom and Tucker..........that was it.......Tom, Tucker, and Myself..........lots of others joined often, but when it was the 3 of us.....that was it for me..........we ALWAYS had a great time, got alot done, and did some ass-kicking climbing too....Burke was big, loud, tipsy, witty, sarcastic, funny, caring, motivated. It was party time when Burke was in town. I am a very,very well traveled climber....Burke looks at me as a local apple that didn't fall far from the tree.......He's been everywhere......A dream of mine is to visit and climb in Africa.....he's been there at least 3 times......So. America, Europe, Asia,.....everywhere.......Burke has been there, done that..........Iv'e done First ascents with Burke 20 years ago.......he was one of the original Stahl Bros. climbing contingency........back when Tom and the Stahl Bros went to college at U.C. Santa Barbera.......he's been climbing for close to 30 years....and I mean climbing ALOT.......We've done a couple of canyonlands trips together too.......he's a gas to travel with, and we always..(OR almost always)get the job done........I would go on almsot any climb with Tom.... not because we are such awesome climbers.....just 2 average dudes climbing.....not super talented, super fast, or super anything....but safe, experienced, and we always had fun and completed projects.............We had talked about climbing El Cap together for years......just couldn't seem to get our schedules together...........big regret , that El Cap thing with Tom....but other than regrets with our friendship.........never any hassles, arguments, problems, or wierdnesses.......only lots of great adventures.........Burke was JUST coming back from that soloing accident ....(Broken back and 7 staple in his head..)...and now the big"C"......I talked to him about 2 or 3 weeks ago.....he told me that they found cancer again in him.... (He survived a cancer thing 7 years ago..).....I told him to come out and hang, drink, and climb a bit.......We just did a route last month called Brokeback Burke.......Burke soloed alot...and wasn't 100% solid all the time....but solid enough to pull off some stuff I wouldn't solo.........I could normally climb alittle bit harder than Burke, but he could solo WAY harder than I could. Last year, Burke, Epperson , and Tucker soloed this spire out off of I-10 that i went to climb after them... I put in 2 bolts, and STILL was dicey.......Once climbing out in the Wonderland , along with Cyndie Bransford, ...he and Cyndie did a climb, and he had her rap off of pieces.....then he pulled the gear, put the rope around a small nolina, and started to batman down the rock....... well... the nolina pulled, Burke fell, got a bit bloody....but came out of it not even too worked up..........His story of climbing Epheneprine in red Rocks with Tucker, on almost no sleep and only beer to drink for the whole trip, is so amazing and funny.....but they wouldn't and copuldn't climb any other way........Many people think it is crazy to drink, climb, and push their limits.....but with Burke.......(and Tucker) wasn't an option.....things were done a certain climbed hard, did first ascents, hiked far, and drank beer and smoked changes in style, schedule, predictable, and yet so efficient,........I have done 200-300 first ascents with Burke......each one as fun as it gets...........Burke isn't the kind of guy you talk about all sweet now just because he's dead......he was the kind of guy everyone wanted to climb with......he KNEW he was fun too..... you didn't have to tell him.............A few years ago, he told me he was going to Colorado for some reunion....and that he would be in Colorado Springs.....I told him to go do Montezuma's Tower at the Garden of the Gods.........A week later I get a phone call on his cell....he says, "thanks, buddy.....good idea....I'm at the base of Montezuma's Tower...the route was great!"........I saw him climb the 5.11 O W on the Predetor in Kand Springs out of Moab.........Burke was someone I could count on to make me laugh, and just relax and enjoy life....not too be too serious about work, problems, this or that. I know he worked out alot in the O.C. Gym Rockreation..........he had a bunch of gym buddies too.......Burke almost got married once, .....but seemed to like the single life........although just lately , he had been talking about settling down and many wanted a kid or two.......He had lots of lady friends who loved him, but it took a special girl to call Tom their sweet-heart......he could be a bit over-the-top sometimes......but his fun-meter was at full-tilt most often.........a big plus. My climbing life has changed with the arrival of kid...and soon more kids....but I still had hundreds of days out with the boys....drinking and doing first ascents.........Easily some of the greatest days of my life..........I can't say rest in peace, Tom....because that wouldn't be what he would wish me to say...... he would say,....have a beer, piss on my grave, go climbing, and my ghost is gonna come pester can't get away from me...........and in a way, Tom's spirit, craziness, positive attitude, and "ghost" will live on and be with 'the boys" ......everytime we go out....We tip our glasses to you, Burkemeister.....and we will carry on without you in a manner which you would approve.....Look in Randy's new guide (and the guides to come)....and you will see that impact that Burke has had on the Joshua Tree climbing world...........He lived his life to the fullest, and made our lives much,much fuller.........Whereever he is now, can be assurred that he is shakin' it up, doing it up right, and makin' it happen........
locker Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 17:12:29 04/07/2006

WTF???... Terrible, SAD!!!...

My Condolences to all concerned...
de Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 17:27:16 04/07/2006

One of the classic storys Tom told me was of his ascent of The Matterhorn. Yes, he climbed the real effing Matterhorn. Alot of people get their butts dragged up the big M but Tom and Reagan did it on their own. Not just that, but the conditions were bad at the time and the guides they passed on the way up were incredulous that they were going for it.The were told not to go for it. They were told that they were crazy. They bagged it with dicey climbing and minimal pro, had the summit to themselves and proceded proudly down, laughing in the face of those alpine pussies. Yeah buddy, way to go.

They also climbed Mt Kenya in Africa on their own. Both of these climbs I was supremely jealous of.
Hilde Fonda Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 19:06:46 04/07/2006

A good friend is dead and today is a sad day. In Alfred Lord Tennyson's words: "I am a part of all that I have met". Tom will always be in my memories.

I did not know Tom for very long, but I consider myself fortunate to have known him and to have had him as my friend. I knew that his cancer was back and I knew that it was bad. What I did not know and did not expect was that he would be gone so soon.

Tom was a wonderful generous and kind person. Even when I photographed him without him being aware of the fact, and on top of it emailed him Photo Shop modified versions of the picture, did his "comments" show his sense of humor and kindness.

He seems so near, and yet so far. Alfred Lord Tennyson again...

Goodbye Tom,

norman miller Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 00:13:11 04/08/2006

I spent one of my favorite climbing trips with Tom. We hit it off, because back then a bunch of the jtree types were into health food and not drinking.(hard to believe) We climbed a bunch the first day and then drank a bunch that night. We wrapped up the last day by doing WOWS. The climbs not a big deal but we had fun. The crazy part was we tried to hitchhike back to town. No one would pick us up. They would pull over and then speed away, some would ask for directions and then speed away. We turned it into a big game. We went up to people in the parking lot and begged for a ride just to be turned down. it was crazy. it took us three hours to hitch from the lot at WOWS to town. I always come to jTree to get that "Im back in High School" feeling and it works for two reasons. I went to high school with Todd and hanging with Tom and all the crazy stuff we would do felt like that free don't give a hoot time 32 years ago. Tom was super fun to hang. he knew he couldn't shock me with anything he did so he just went more extreme and I loved it. Es todo bueno Tom. I will never forget you. F#(* CANCER DAMMIT, it really sucks.
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 00:57:03 04/08/2006

We (Tucker, Myself, and Burke) were working on a new route up by Indian Head (Paris Hilton 5.11)....I had placed a couple of bolts and was working this one section, and after many tries, thaought I had found a sequence that would work for me.....BUT....after spending all this time to figure out the moves, and drill the bolts....I was now pooped out , and came down for a rest.......while I was resting... Burke went up for a go at it..... after a bunch of tries... he made it....I was surprised, because the moves were really hard and Burke weight one ton (at least...)......after the crux section, there was probably 100 more feet of 5.8 climbing up a long crack system.... I was able to follow ( was d*mn hard..)and Tucker (The better climber in the group)...received a very bad cut on his finger which wouldn't stop he couldn't even try the climb anymore after the cut......Tom enjoyed this climb alot....not because it was THAT great a climb...(it isn't..).. but because HE was the hero that day.....(AND because Tucker wasn't able to do the route for whatever reason...ha ha......)...I thought is was very cool....because I got a top-rope on a very hard move........Burkeuleese came was awesome....
Karen Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 10:58:48 04/08/2006

This is such sad news Todd. Very sorry that Tom is gone....why do the nice fun guys have to go? F*#!& cancer!!!!

I'm fortunate to have been able to have met and climbed with Tom, he was so funny and encouraging. At this time I am at a loss for words, my sadness over the loss of another kind soul is too much.....

larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 16:28:12 04/08/2006

Services for Tom

Mary Star of the Sea Parish
7669 Girard Ave
La Jolla


Tuesday April 11th
Andrew Burke--Tom's Youngest Brother Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 00:01:47 04/09/2006

To all of Tom's great climbing friends and JT crew. Tom sent me to this site several months ago and we looked at pictures and some of the CRAZY stuff that you all do out there. My youngest sister Maryann just told me tonight that there were several messages out on the board so I wanted to go out and read them tonight. These messages are great and they are great for my family to read as part of our grieving process. He had 7 brothers and sisters that loved him very much and 12 nephews and niesces that he adored and that he and I got to torture together for lots of laughs and giggles. We miss him terribly already and the pain is almost unbearable for my parents and rest of the family, but to know how much fun he had with all you guys out there, to hear about all the great and cool climbs he did out there, to hear some of the frickinest funniest stories from his friends out is all good for the healing process. I want you all to know that he felt the love, thoughts and prayers from EVERYONE of you. He suffered no pain and one of the last looks that he gave me told me that he was ready and prepared to go. Knowing Tom, he is up in Heaven now asking God where the nearest climbing gym and boulders are to go climbiing. We would ask that you guys do not shed tears for Tom because he would not want that at all. He would want you to celebrate his life and accomplishments as your climbing partner, friend, brother and teacher. Our family would encourage you all to attend his Memorial Services in San Diego on Tuesday, because again, this was a huge part of his life and it helps the healing process having all his good friends around. Thanks again to everyone, especially Reegan, who has suffered and sat by his side from Day 1 in the hospital. Reegan--cheers my friend. Thank you again for all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers and raise a glass to his memory and know that he will always be climbing with you guys. To Tom----much love. Your bro and family.
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 01:01:00 04/09/2006

Last night I couldn't sleep......I kept thinking about Tom and all the time we spent was wierd....I usually don't have a very good memory, but as I lay in bed, with my wife and son next to me, half asleep, and half awake, I just started to remember and visualize, day, after day....years after year....many experiences and adventures I have shared with was wierd in a way....I couldn't stop my thoughts, and the memories made me both happy because the memories made me smile and laugh inside... and sad that the crazy days with Tom are over......the memories I will have forever...and for that I am truly blessed and thankful for. Here's one for you;......Tucker , Tom and I were working on a new route up in the hills out of 29 Palms.....after many hours on the lead for me, and many hours of belaying, chatting, and waiting, I finally finished and lowered to the ground....the weather looked threatening, and it was quite fact...I drilled the last bolt in a sort of drizzle, ....but it was Tucker's turn next... Tucker made it half way up the climb, and the sky opened up and started to dump down rain and then hail......Tom had waited all day for his turn, never got to touch stone that day, ended up driving home without doing one climb, and caught a bad cold from waiting out in the wet weather for his turn.....Tucker and I felt bad, and Tom WAS alittle bend....(He shouted an explicative that echoed throughout the valley...)....but we all laughed , and what could we do about it anyways, and Tom , in the end, as usual, said," Hey;.. I'm out with my bros, in a beautiful place....I'll be back...."......In the weeks and months to follow... we remeinded him and teased him about how WE got to do the climb ,and he didn't, and how COOL the climb was........He loved the attention, and the fact that it was now HIS turn to find something that he could hold over us.......A few monts later... We were all back up in the same Valley, and Tom , first thing, grabbed the rope and rack and lead the thing... I think he enjoyed the climb even more because he had to wait.......He HAD to go back , because we would ride him until he had done the climb.....For us , it was just hanging out together having adventures and good times.....the climbing was a bonus.........and the hours of hand-drilling on the lead gave us ALL plenty of time to sit around and chat......I recall one day where Tucker and Tom talked for hours about Russian authors they had read, and comparing them and such.....I was very impressed and amazed at how well read both of my knucklehead friends are...(and how NOT well-read I am!!!).....I was proud to be Tom's bro.
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 01:11:17 04/09/2006

Tom and Tucker in the parking lot of the Fisher Towers.......hadn't bathed in probably a week, drinking beers, and racking up to go do the Achient Art......sort of late in the day, but they were in no hurry, because they climb fast and such a climb is fairly easy for them.....their clothes were filthy, they were laughing and joking as usually.... it was a very entertaining sight......a yuppie-type couple pull up in their Saab or Volvo....see these Tom and Tucker racking up in the parking lot for the climb,... and they get so scared that they almost get back in their car and head back to Denver......Tom and Tucker laugh some more... head out the climb....and see a team 1/2 way up the climb.......soon they have caught up to them, and have to wait for the slower party.... no problem... until they are out of cigs and beer.......NOW it is time to rap down for supplies......Oh well.....just have to come back and do the climb another day... no big deal.... it was all about just hanging out and having fun.......(and they had already done 2 or 3 other towers that day anyways...) Tom returned a year or two later.... sent the thing, and that was that............
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 01:34:14 04/09/2006

I am waiting in the parking lot of the North Wonderland for Tom and Tucker....I am talking to a volunteer for the Park Service... an elderly gentleman ....probably in his 70' comes Tom, speeding into the parking lot, tires skidding, and gravel flying......he procedes to do donuts around the parking lot, and the Park volunteer's face starts to turn bright red and veins are popping out of this elderly gentleman's neck......I am anxious to see what unfolds next. The Park Volunteer runs over to Tom and starts to read him the riot act,....Tucker is slumping down in the seat next to Tom... and I felt sorry for the boys...... Tom .....very calmly says....." Sir....what is your name?????"....the man...taken back and startled.... replies....."Ah.....Mr. Simpkinton!!!!"......Tom says....very calmly and slowly....." Mr. Simpkinton....I am terribly sorry . I don't know what got into me.... This will never happen again, I can assure you."....and Tom rolled up the window, got out of the car, and that was that.......I had to walk away, because I was laughing so hard I was crying....At such a calm and polite reply....Mr. Simpkinton, ....didn't know what to say... so he walked away down the trail to bust out of bounds campers.... muttering to himself......We all laughed so hard at Tom's brilliant performance......not many people could pull such a deal off, but Tom was a true master. We later named an equally brilliant climb "Mr. Simpkinton"....a fantastic 2 pitch 5.10 climb way out in the Wonderland that we had worked on for 3 days......Tom got one of the early leads on it.....maybe even the first lead...I can't remember.......and he did a fantastic job on the lead too, for it was a bit run-out and a wee bit scary....Tom loved it... especially the name....This fabulous climbed got chopped by someone who didn't realize that this climb meant alot to the three of us... Todd , Tom and Tucker.....and how much fun we all had putting up this wonderful climb.....the climb is gone, but the memory of the experience of the climb and of the encounter with Mr. Simpkinton are still fresh in my head as if it were yesterday.......There is so much to "climbing" that has nothing to do with's all about the adventure,, the time shared, the challenges, the mystery of the first ascent, and the sharing of true friendship. .......THAT is the important part, ...and that cannot be taken from us....
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 01:50:32 04/09/2006

Two years ago ... I watched my son being born at the hospital in Joshua was June 28th....Tom was into coming out to Joshua Tree when it was really hot... climbing in the cool morning... sitting around chattin gna d sipping brews during the heat of the day... and climbing again in the beautiulf and cool summer evening... and ALL the climbers were gone too... except Tucker and Tom and a few others who know it can be fantastic to climb in Joshua Tree in the Summer....I was taking a break from the hospital, hadn't had any sleep in awhile, and was sort of an emotional wreck......I kept it together pretty much at the hospital, .. but when I got to Tucker 's house and just mentioned the fact that I was a dad to Tucker and Tom......I fully lost it and broke down.......Tucker thinks I'm a wuss..(He has ice in his veins...), but Tom , in his teacher/comforting way.....actually came over and comforted me like a mama hen does to her was sort of wierd, but it the sort of thing us "macho" tough-guys don't do often.... I apprecited it, and was glad Tom didn't take the opportunity to make fun of me......(NOt that Tucker is an A-hole... he's one of my best friends... just don't expect him to give you a hug if you need one......what am I talking about... he's so stinky that even if he would give you a hug... you wouldn't want it anyways....).....Burke was as unique a person as I've ever known, and was one of the best friends I have ever had.......he ALWAYS treated me with the love , kindness, and respect that few humans are lucky enough to ever get .........he treated everyone that way.......and even Tucker, whom I have heard described as "void of emotions"....has been pretty much slam dunked by Tom's passing......We miss him dearly, and with his passing on so quickly.......we still can't even believe just seem like next Saturday....Tom will drive up, step out of his car, open up a beer, and say...."Waz up, homey?.... "....and the fun will begin and not stop until he leaves......
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 01:57:10 04/09/2006

In a few week, my wife will be giving birth to two twin sons.....We sort of have names picked out, ....we reciently decided on middle names will have the middle name of Gabriel (For Peter Gabriel...our favorite musician...), and the other will have the name Thomas..(For our favorite friend...).....We can tell the little guy , as he grows up.... that he was named after a great man..... The awesome Tom Burke. He will be proud.
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 02:10:43 04/09/2006

Tom, Tucker and I were working on a new route near the parking lot of Split was difficult for us (5.10+... probably sandbagged too..)...and Tom and Tucker had emptied out their packs to get out their shoes and gear... in their packs was beer (standard), and all these empty beer cans from previous weeks.....we laughed at all the beer was alot....but it wasn't all from THAT day.....I mean.. it was a REAL lot of cans.......we all laughed........all of the sudden....2....then 3 Rangers suddenly show up.....see all the beer cans... see us.... and start the tough talk.......What are you guys doing??...(New route, sir...)...Did you drink all these beers?.....(Yes sir.....)....Is someone sober enough to drive.....(Yes sir.. I am...I said.....I don't drink...)....Are you using an electric drill???? (No sir... always by hand, sir...).......The Rangers... who REALLY wanted to bust us for drinking or electiric drill.... mumbled to each other....bumped into each other a few times....mumbled some more... and took off......We lauhged our asses off.....and Tom and Tucker had to sit around for hours until they were ready to drive home......paranoid that the rangers were going to wait and see if they could bust us was classic.......(And the Route... The Nuptial Sac has one dang hard sloppy mantle and some really hard thin's one of those reallly sucky routes that nobody else would like , but we LOVED it!!!...once again... it's not so much the climbing as the whole experience shared with good friends.........another fantastic day at the crags with Tom and Tucker....)
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 02:17:55 04/09/2006

Here's Burke for ya......Our friend Clark Jacobs, is ill with a rare form of Lukemia, or some type of blood cancer.....there is a fund to help Clark out financially.... I sent $ in once to help my friend Clark out......Tom was sending money monthly to help Clark......THAT is something that is very rare in another human......the kindness and compassion above and almost wierd.....
tanslacks Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 02:59:16 04/09/2006

Thanks Todd, that was well said.

I too have a memory I would like to share about Tom. Over the years I have had the pleasure of hanging and climbing with Tom but my family had never met him. Cindy, my wife and Sierra, my 10 year old have heard so many stories/tales about my climbing friends that I'm sure they can't keep the names straight. Last summer we were out riding our horses through the highlands. I was excited to show Cindy Tuckers garden. It was a warm afternoon and Tuckers place was in full swing. Tom and Robert were sitting by their cars bending elbows. Tom came right up and introduced himself to Cindy and Sierra and was playing with the horses. Tucker took Cindy on a grand tour and Sierra and I stayed with the horses listening to Tom charm his way into my daughters heart. He was so funny that day, Robert was pretty funny too, but Sierra left there talking about Tom. That was what I remember most, he was so warm sometimes. In minutes he had won over my daughter. Cheers Tom.

We can not make it to the services this week but we send our prayers and condolences to Toms family and all his friends.

The Zacks
Robert Fonda Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 08:12:18 04/09/2006

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your very kind words.

One of my fondest memories of Tom was climbing out here on the ranch last summer. Tucker, Tom, and I were busily doing routes. Tucker leads up this choss pile with the worst pro I've seen in a while. I proceed next. As I am getting to the belay Tucker asks me if I could take over since he was being eaten alive by ants. I said sure. Tucker waits while I belay Tom. Now I'm being consumed by thousands of ants.

Meanwhile the clouds are forming and the sky is getting DARK! Tom's just getting to the top when it starts to pour. Thunder, lightning the whole nine yards. Tucker and I both look at each other, I hand Tom the rope and inform him it's his turn to pack the gear. As we are heading down in a now driving rain storm, all we can hear is Tom slapping his arms and legs trying to get the ants off yelling "OUCH..OUCH... F$CK....OUCH... F$CK...OUCH...". Tucker and I could barely get to the base because we were laughing so hard. Once on the ground Tucker and I were hiding in an abanonded house waiting for Tom, when I noticed that Tom had left his windows down on his truck. Classic Burke, he had the keys.

I am so sick over this. I am just grief stricken and am having a very hard time sleeping at nights.

My very best to Tom's family. We've lost a real gem.

Robert Fonda
Joshua Tree CA
norman miller Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 12:16:50 04/09/2006

One of my favorite Tom stories was when he ran wih the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain on one of his year long adventure trips around the world. He said it was so wild it almost exceeded his idea of crazy.
larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 12:42:57 04/09/2006

Todd, that's a wonderful thing on the midlle name of Thomas.

Andrew, I look forward to meeting you.

Todd, you're right in that the actual climbing was "almost" secondary to the fun being had at the base.

Even the worse trip I went on (Coxcomb) was a hoot because Tom was there. The hike out was horrendus. I remember him at the base of the hill yelling up F@ck you Gordon! The same trip he tells a girl that she should be his girlfriend or something crazy like that.

Tom was the entertainment on a trip. When Glenn, Tom and I went to Holcomb Pinnacles we spent the night at my cabin. I had brought some cheesy old sci-fi flicks to laugh at to pass the time. How stupid of me. Tom brought out some slides of a couple Euro trips with Al; that he had just gotten duplicated. As luck would have it I have a slide projector. Every slide had some funny story behind it. After that Tom told non-stop stories of growing up. Hilarious stuff of Tom getting in trouble as a youngster. Tom made a point of telling us his dad was always in his bathrobe whenever Tom got in trouble. I can't remember exact details and I wouldn't do the stories justice anyway. Tom just had a way of telling stories.

I remember Tom took great delight posting here under fake names. Claimed it was because he had to hide his identity since he was a teacher. Two I remember were EKRUB (Burke spelled backwards) and BAD SANTA. He thought it too funny that Todd had got upset at what EKRUB had posted. Tom thought it was even more funny to tell Todd that EKRUB was him.

I remember my first time climbing with Tom, Tucker, Todd and the crew. Tom made a point to make sure I had a good time and making sure I got in as much climbing as I wanted.

Tom always had to have fun. Where I first met him was at Rockreation. He was always in charge of the nights activities such as they were. He always had some friendly competition or game cooked up. Doing all the 5.9's or as many different climbs on the same rope or a marathon of the most climbs in a night. Anything to turn it into a game so it would be interesting. One of Tom's tricks was to start telling a story between climbs to cheat a rest between climbs.

As much as a clown that Tom was when climbing, he was a serious at his job. He would always say he was a teacher for the vacation time, but I knew he took it seriously. He would tell stories of drilling his student teachers about the basics tenets of teaching. I was also impressed that he was an advocate of young teachers being on some teacher association committee.

Tom always stood up for his friends. I believe his last post here was in defence of his friend Blitzo.

Tom Burke - A true renaissance man

Tina Burke, one of Tom's 4 younger sister's... Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 16:26:06 04/09/2006

I just found out about this site today and have been reading through all of your posts! Thank you for writing your stories and memories! Your pictures and captions were making me laugh out loud! Tom loved you guys - he always told us that he lived for climbing with his friends. Your stories and memories are rounding out the edited versions we usually got when Mom was around. Dad's bathrobe was blue terrycloth and I think he wore it for 30 years - so Tom saw it alot. If you guys have more pictures, we'd love to see them. I know that Tom will keep an eye on all of us and give us a tweak when we're not going full out! Much love and thanks to all of you. Sweet climbing dear brother. XO Tink
Glenn Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 13:00:42 04/10/2006

I am one of Tom's OC gym friends,I only knew Tommie for a few years but when Maggie needed someone to belay him Rockcraetion I got volunteered... I was thinking what did I get myself into.... after a few minutes we started to rag on Dave and Marggie and a knew this guy was alright --- He anf I are the founding members of the "CLUB", and anyone can join except for 'you-know-who'... Tommie i'm going to miss you, Larry and I will have a cig and a 'par' for you on Tuesday and I will try to find a lighter or two for you to take on your Journey --- remenber the two words... You will be missed........
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 15:28:16 04/10/2006

Taken from L.A. Times....April 9,2006

Burke, Thomas A.

A billingual master teacher and teacher mentor in the Los Angeles Unified School District, world Traveler, experienced Mountaineer and expert rock Climber has died of complications from malignant melanoma. He was forty-seven. Born in La Jolla, California, Tom started his eighteen year teaching career at the Menlo Street School in South Central Los Angeles and was most reciently teaching fifth grade at the Hawaiian Avenue School in Wilmington where he also acted as the school's representative for the United Teachers of Los Angeles. After teaching for ten years, Tom took a year long leave of absence to travel around the world. A born adventurer, he used every vacation to travel. He loved Africa and on two trips to that continent climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, ran the rapids on the Zambezi, and witnessed the great wildebeest migration. On different trips to Europe, ran ran with the bulls in Pamplona, rock climbed in the Dolomites, and climbed the Matterhorn. In the States, Colorado, Utah, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite were favorite places to climb. Tom graduated from All Hallows Academy in La Jolla, and The Abbey , a Benedictine prep school in Colorado, where he developed his love of the mountains. He received his BA degree from the Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbera. Friends and students describe Tom as a gifted story-teller, with a great sense of humor who enjoyed life and live it to it's fullest. Many said that his presence "lit up a room."
Tom , the oldest of the Burke children , is survived by his father, John, mother Ann, brothers, David, John , and Andrew, sisters, Tina, Carolyn, Anita, and Maryann, and 12 nieces and nephews. A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday , April 11th at 1 'clock at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in La Jolla. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tomas Burke Memorial Reading Bench Fund at the Hawaiian Ave. School, 540 Hawaiian Ave. , Wilmington, CA. 90744
norman miller Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 20:31:39 04/10/2006

Now that is one cool Bio. Many people dream of doing what Tom did and never get around to doing it. I am drinking a Foster's big oil can of beer for you Tom. See you in a few years after I have done half what you did.
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 21:54:10 04/10/2006

Burke and I would often go to the Country Kitchen to eat breakfast.....Morian knew Tom well, and knew his order.....he was friendly, and personable, and once you meet him... you didn't forget him.....I would always wake him up as he slept in his truck and Eva and Tucker's house...and ask him if he wanted to go to breakfast.....he always said yes.......
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 22:41:44 04/10/2006

Each week-end, Tom and Tucker would argue as to who would HAVE to belay me I usually took many hours on the lead, hand-drilling bolts and going as slow as molasses......belaying me was a nasty, boring job, which nobody wanted to fact, it was so pathetically boring and slow that no one (except Burke and Tucker ) could barely stand to climb with me.......My wife (before she had our child), did a few new routes with me, and then said no more new routing....she was out there to "climb".......Tucker and Burke would flip coins, play rock/paper/sissors, draw straws, play all sorts of games of chance to see who HAD to belay me........they argued over this quite often........belaying was a drag....not only was it boring, but I was always barking out orders to send up this or that....bolts, pins, gear, hooks...whatever....AND I was always kicking rocks off and hitting my belayer...........BUT.....there was a consolation prize......The leader (naturally) bossed the belayer around.....(I enjoyed it alot...)... BUT the belayer bossed the other bystander around...afterall....the belayers hands were busy (sort of.....when they weren't smoking a cig or drinking a beer...)....and so the belayer GOT to boss around the other get him beers or smokes, gear out of reach, was a caste system....sort of like the one in India.....and we all took full advantage of our positions.........Burke and Tucker were fully delighted if anyone else was foolish enough to join us........they were called "Gordobots".....and the new fledgling "Gordobots" were the new belay Tom AND Tucker could have both hands free to do what they did best..........(they got thirsty from the hike in...).....While they were belaying me and sitting around at the base, they routinely "abused" me verbally........insulting me, telling me how old and pathetic, weak, lame, and untalented, chicken and ugly I am........this was all done in an endearing way.......and it happended every week-end, non-stop and non-relenting.......I tried to ignore it for the first few placements...(which was difficult, for both Tucker and Tom were really quite witty and funny with their teasing and tormenting....)....but after about 50 feet or hearing is bad and I couldn't hear them anyways...(thank heavens)......then they would start in on each other, or anyone around, or anyone even not around.........they need to talk smack about someone..........heck.... they would even talk smack about themselves in a pinch............It was like this everytime we went climbing.....If it was only Tom, Tucker , and I.....we usually just got the one new route done.....if Gordobots were present.......(after the customary brews were consumed...).....Tom and Tucker would go out and solo ALL the easy crack within view....and then lead up all the cracks within view.....this was all done very quickly , efficiently, and without too much fuss or didn't matter if the cracks were short or long, thin or wide or even chimney, clean or dirty, good or bad, hard or easy.......they just climbed em'.....I "missed out" on alot of this stuff... for I was usually busy with the bolting business...........they did hundreds of new crack routes like this....tipsy, solo or lead, and very quickly.....(don't want to miss out on the bolted face route.....).......then came the silly, sophomoric route names......many ,many of these climbs are missing from guidebooks, and may never be in print.......there are too many , they have very rude names, and many were not well documented, many are very difficult to find, and many just plain suck.....(yeah... but some are brilliant too....).....I hope , in my lifetime, I document and seek out of our feeble minds... these climbs... they are part of a legacy and era that was unique in time and space. Tom and Tucker are perfect partners for me.......they are patient, always up for an adventure, not picky at all if a climb is this or that, easy or hard, good or bad, quality or's all fun for them......climbing for us morphed into exploring and new routing almost exclusively........long walks, lots of unknowns, lots of dead ends, lots of junky climbs, but ALWAYS a mystery, a surprise, ALWAYS fun, and sometimes we would hit paydirt....get lucky and find a classic, or a masterpiece, or a diamond or a gem or a d*ck-wrenching mega-classic.........and ....I believe it was often more by chance ,luck, and sheer number of climbs , hundreds of miles of hiking, and roll of the dice that we would come up with a winner.........sure.... it's ALWAYS very nice to do a F A of a super awesome mega-classic.....but it's also super cool (to us, anyways).....when we did the stinky ones too....they were pathetic, dirty, lame, stupid, cruddy, bogus.....but always funny, adventuresome, mysterious, and halarious to think that someone else MIGHT just be dumb as us and someday repeat this steaming pile of feces........that always gave us great think that someone else will do this route....and curse us for even naming the thing..........THAT is good fun........(Now you can see why nobody wanted to climb with us???).......I think we had all done so much of the "guidebook" stuff... other people's routes...stuff by the road.....already established stuff.....we need that added dimention and mystic of the new turf to get us mark offs were fine....but it almost seemed like we would rather do a sheit new route than a good established route.......and through our exploring ....we actually went to very remote prestine, beautiful, untouched unspoiled areas of the Park.......and it was beautiful...and we RARELY saw other people when we went climbing.......we would go 10 or 15 weekends in a row or MORE ... without seeing other people or other climbers.......we got so used to it... that when we saw others climbing... it seemed so wierd and novel.............I will miss those days with Burke........he was one of the best climbing partners you could ever ask heart is heavy with saddness over this.....but my heart is also filled with much joy at the many,many memories of hundreds of days I spent with Tom over the last 20 years or so.......I believe we did it up just fine, did things the way which was perfect for us, and had the time of our lives...............We accomplished many climbing adventures and goals which we set out for ourselves...and I believe that our friendship and mutual thirst for beer and adventure drove us to such a string of adventures and misadventures that I will cherish and keep with me forever..........
larry Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 22:04:24 04/11/2006

Just got back from Tom's wake.
Todd, Glenn and I went. Glenn and I took the wives who also knew Tom. Todd brought Beck.

Got to meet Tom's family. A great Bunch. We talked to Tom's friends from as far back as high school.
Seems Tom was the same back then.
He spent three days in jail for underage drinking
Great Party

Mark Senyk Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 22:52:11 04/11/2006

It was one fine sunny saturday, Todd, Tucker, Eileen and myself were close to Josh's southern entrance, playing on a Todd creation up some obscure wash. After a few sweet d1ck wrenching classics and a lot of beer we started to hear a faint voice. Whilst scanning the lonely wash for motion we assumed it was the wind and carried on. A few minutes later we heard the same humanoidish sound, this time it was louder. Looking down the distant wash we COULD now see a figure below.
The style and presence of this wanderer looked hauntingly familiar. too familiar.... Then we all agree after some serious squinting, it was Burke!!!

What luck, here we are, up some canyon on the southern borders of the park, not even within eyeshot of the road, and Burke has somehow found us!!!

When Burke arrives, he joyfully tells us the last time he took the southern entrance was 15 years ago!!!!! and here he is after a long week in the city cruising up the ole southern way admiring the desert in all its winter glory and there is Todd's truck.... parked on the side of the road. Shocked, suprised and excited he ventures off, into the desert, into the unknown looking for his friends and finds them.
And in classic Burke style he graces us not only with his presence and witty humour, but now with a quick dip into his pack he cheerfully starts passing out cold, cold Coronas.

Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 01:14:11 04/12/2006

I am glad I went to the Memorial....This memorial stuff is all new to me... now I've been to two funeral/memorial mothers, and now Burkes.......My parents always sheltered me from dead people....they said it was a "thing for adults only.."......some of us...(actually,many of us)..who got stuck in the time warp of the rock climbing world....sort of never grew the "adult" thing of dealing with dead people was something we would "deal" with WHEN (if?) we EVER grew up........Maybe I am growing up....because the funeral/memorial for my mom I HAD to go... the one for Tom I mad teh DECISION to was a choice...and I'm glad I did.......His family is awesome, brave, and they told many,mnay stories, almost all of them very funny.....(Are you suppose to be "funny" at a memorial?).....My son Beck was noisy, and ran about...but I'm sure Tom would not have cared...Tom loved my son Beck too.... so STFU, n00b. They had a cool program with lots of cool pics of Tom, a dorky "School" teacher picture of him up front during the service... and a full church packed (standing room only) of Tom's relatives and friends.......lots of good looking women crying too.... a bivy of Tom's chickies??? One has to wonder...(He was quite the ladie's man.....). After the service,, there was lots of food and free booze......(It's an Irish thing...)...Tom's would have enjoyed the party in the flesh... and his spirit was there with all......I kept it together most of the event... but got choked up talking to his sisters........they seemed WAY more stronger and together than me...(Or is it I?)... Still... a tough day for all of us... but a time to support his family , and each other.......I believe a bunch of his teacher buddies were there too......Tom is an inspiration to all teachers.. because he is able to have fun with it, cut through all the bullsh*t, and even give kids an education.... something most teachers cannot do with the flair and style Tom did....I'm a teacher too... many things about teaching blow.... but the kids and their TRUE needs have to be addressed...and Tom did just that...and didn't sugar-coat it either......He was honest to his profession, to himself, and to his students....(Which, of course, made him a "trouble maker and a loose cannon".)....His family summed it up with encouragement that we all be inspired by Tom's spirit, lifestyle, humor and wit...... and go out and do it up proud.....I'll drink to that....(Tucker.... you too?)
Anne Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 03:51:06 04/12/2006

My family has known the Burkes all our lives. "Tommy" was a year younger than me. Our friendship was rekindled in the early 80's when I was dating (and later married) a good climber also from La Jolla (in fact Roger is in a guide book of Joshua Tree from the 70's...our kids laugh at it because he looks a girl with his long hair)! Anyway, Tom, Roger, and I used to climb with other friends at Tahquitz and Suicide. I lived in Pacific Beach at the time with my brother, Rip, who was also good friends with Tom. So good he asked his buddy Tom to keep an eye on a few very healthy plants in pots in our backyard while he was out of town. Tom had a vested interest in those plants and agreed to. My parents, who had admired this unusual foliage" for some time as we snickered in the background, must have figured it out, because one day while Rip was gone they snuck over and pored what we later found out was Draino on them. For years poor Tom got razzed about his brown thumb till my folks finally came clean!
norman miller Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 09:47:29 04/13/2006

Its good you made the memorial Todd. Climbers are probably more grown up than most. To climb requires discipline and mental control that could be useful in our Govt and corporate world. But the climbers are counter culture in a way and like to have that image. When Bob and I came out this Fall he met Tucker and some of the other legends and was going wow what a strange group. He would have felt the same of Tom after climbing and hanging out. But then you read Tom's short bio, and it only touches on his goals and accomlishmnets. Teacher, citizen, teachers union rep, UC Grad, Explorer, Brother, Son and friend.....
sharon van horn Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 22:44:05 04/23/2006

i am an old friend of tom's from high school. i went to the sister's school (acaemy) and was fortunate to know tom when he was 16 or 17. tom and i would frequently spend time after school, from 3-5 p.m. he would always have somthing up his sleeve for us to do. one of my fondest memories that have i shared with my children was that we would go to the field next the abbey (his school) and pretent that we were characters in the wizard of oz. he of course was the lion and i was dorothy. he was so funny and could do a great imitation of the lion...i would laugh until i cried and then we would lay down in the grass and prentend it was the field of poppies and go to sleep....believe it or not it was a chemical free experience! he was so much fun...i will never forget the millions of freckles and sunburned nose.

what a wonderful life he has lived from what you have all shared...thank you for sharing all of your memories...

sharon van horn
Andrew Burke Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 02:46:51 04/26/2006

To all of Toms great frinds----my family has been touched by all the great memoroies that you have all posted here....thank you. Remember to keep Tom in your hearts and thoughts while you are climbing that next rock or obstacle because, as he would always say to me, "Don't be such a pu^sy"..I personally miss him and break down every day because selfishly I want him back for 1 more hour, BUT, feel comfort in the fact that he lives in his family and friends.

To all JT friends: You guys are awesome....I wish I had friends like you guys.

To Tucker: Tom loved climbing with you bro and would be thoroughly pissed if you did not get your sh@t together, climb to the top of any climb that you guys did, hoist a beer and smoke a cig in his honor. Reegan, my bro in law, Anthony and I will be out there soon to celebrate his life with you. BTW: Tom told me that you host a great staek and lobster dinner..LOL. Be prepared.
Reegan: Thank you again for your love and support. You are like family man and always will be.
Carolyn Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 21:18:56 04/26/2006

To all of Tommy's friends on this site...thank you so much for your words and thoughts about Tom. As I sit here reading all of these stories I am so grateful to you all for sharing because as his sister I get to know him even better than before. I knew he loved JT because he would do anything to be there with you all every weekend. I loved it when he had his first cell phone because he would call me on the way out and the way back to tell me how he was and some great story about the weekend. I miss him so much that I feel heavy without him but I know he would hate that. He was such a light load. I was talking to one of his friends after his memorial and telling him how much I wanted just one more day...he told me that that is the way it was with always wanted one more day, hour or minute because his light was so bright that everything was a bit dimmer after he left. Thank you all so much and God Bless you.
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 12:07:27 04/27/2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Tom Burke
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Burke does "Sharon Stone"
5.8 Located on W. Face of boulders above Baskerville Rocks, White Cliffs of Dover Area
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Burke on "Sharon Stone"


Tom Burke and Sharon Stone

Tom Burke and Sharon Stone

Author Subject: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone
Todd Gordon Posted At 12:06:01 04/27/2006
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Tom Burke
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Burke does "Sharon Stone"
5.8 Located on W. Face of boulders above Baskerville Rocks, White Cliffs of Dover Area
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Burke on "Sharon Stone"
Glenn Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 12:28:16 04/27/2006

Thanks Todd --- It's good to see Mr Burke again ---
Ann & John Burke Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 13:23:29 04/27/2006

Thanks, Todd, for all the postings. They help fill the hole in our hearts.
Robert Fonda Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 16:30:34 04/27/2006

Oh.... that face is going to haunt me (in a good way) for the rest of my life.

Hilde and I are trying to dig up some of our pictures of Tom, it just will take some time.


P.S. Ann & John, my wife works at the local climbing store. We have a pair of Tom's climbing shoes he left for resoling. We picked them up. Would it be OK if we gave them to someone who is deserving. At the moment,they are my house.

Hilde Fonda Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 17:05:54 04/29/2006

The very shoes he is wearing in these photos. Newly resoled by Positive Resoles, Joshua Tree. They have been waiting for Tom's return to Joshua Tree...sadly that will never happen.

Ann Burke Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 22:32:45 04/29/2006

Please do give them to someone who needs a pair. Tell the person about Tom. Big shoes to fill. When Tom fell at Joshua Tree a few months ago, he told me in the hospital that he had left a pair of shoes on the ground. Same pair?
We laid his ashes to rest today in a beautiful spot in the Old Mission Cemetery at The Mission San Luie Rey in Oceanside. I'm sure he's smiling about that, since he was a history buff and recently had his sisters type up a big paper on the California Missions he needed for some teaching thing.
Robert Fonda Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 07:21:22 04/30/2006

Thanks for responding Ann. I will find a suitable person to give them to. Maybe we will put them in the consignmet bin at Nomad and take the money and donate it.

speweelll Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 09:50:09 04/30/2006

no on the consignment bin. find a bro who would maybe appreciate the karma wearing tom's shoes?
Todd Gordon Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 10:44:15 04/30/2006

I agree with speweelll on this one.... find some needy soul who don't mind Tom's stinky feet or his ghost playing tricks on him.........
larry Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 14:48:58 04/30/2006

Two people come to mind

Tucker or Blitzo
Glenn Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 14:33:41 05/02/2006

I agree --- Tucker or Blitzo
Glenn Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 14:33:47 05/02/2006

I agree --- Tucker or Blitzo
Carolyn Burke Pringle Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 05:05:39 05/05/2006

Thank you for the photos of Tommy. Everytime I see him I still can't believe it is true. I want to thank you all for telling your makes me feel closer to him and it also makes me feel like I know him even better. He loved it out there with his buddies and when he got his new cell phone he would call me on the way out and the way home to tell me about the weekend and about all of the trouble you all would get yourselves into. I miss his voice and I miss him so. Again, thank you.
Maryann "Burke" Castronovo #8 Re: Tom Burke and Sharon Stone (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 11:24:52 05/05/2006

Thank you for posting those amazing photos. Wow. What a climber he was. Those are truly awesome photos.