John J. Burke, 83, of Narberth, who taught English at St. Joseph's University for 40 years, died Friday at Bryn Mawr Hospital of complications from cancer and hip surgery.
Professor Burke joined the St. Joseph's faculty in 1956. He was popular with students, said his brother, Francis, and received six teaching awards, including the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.
He was the author of several scholarly articles, and many of his poems were published. He retired in 1996.
Professor Burke graduated from St. Thomas More High School in Philadelphia. He earned a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's and a master's degree in English from Temple University. Childhood polio left him with a weakened arm and leg, and exempted him from military service during World War II.
Professor Burke enjoyed fine dining and opera, and was a subscriber to the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In addition to his brother, he is survived by sisters Catherine DeMunter and Sister Mary Burke, and nieces and nephews. His wife of 46 years, Mary Lombardo Burke, died in 2003.