John Michael Burroughs was born November 12, 1935, in Astoria, Oregon, the only child of John Harold and Icedore Burroughs.
Initially, the family lived in Oregon and Washington and then moved to US Canal Zone in Panama until 1948. Returning to the States, John lived in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1950, John moved back to Beirut, Lebanon. John described living in the Middle East during this peaceful time “enlightening” and would frequently reflect upon this period of time in his life.
After he returned to the United States, John became a Cadet at Culver Military School in Culver, Indiana. He graduated high school in Vancouver, British Columbia. A buddy from high school remembers when John arrived; his classmates called him “The American.” Few people really got beyond John’s facade, to see the real John, a soft-hearted, caring individual.
After attending Oregon State University, in 1956 he joined the Marine Corp. John received his BPA in Criminal Justice at National University and was a graduate of FBI National Academy.
In 1961 John joined the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, where he held supervisory positions in numerous assignments: Detentions; Patrol; and Detectives. John was promoted to Sgt., Narcotics Division; promoted to Lt. OSI Vice/Intelligence; Station Commander in Fallbrook and Valley Center; Commander, Vista and San Marcos Patrol Stations; Commander, Emergency Services Division (Special Enforcement Detail, Search and Rescue, Reserves, Aerial Support Detail (ASTREA), and Emergency Planning). During his career with the Sheriff’s Department, John received many accolades and numerous Certificates of Achievement and Letters of Appreciation for his exemplary service. After a stellar career in law enforcement, John retired as Captain, Sheriff’s Department, in 1993.
In 1993, John was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He endured 19 years of treatments. John battled prostate cancer like the warrior that he was. But in the fall of 2011, John started to decline; previous treatments were no longer effective. He started chemotherapy and other treatments at Moores Cancer Center.
On August 20, 2013, John passed away. He leaves behind Sue, his devoted wife of 25 years; sons Jim and Michael (deceased), daughter Tammy and son-in-law Richard; stepson Barry and his wife, Tiffani; and ten grandchildren.
John was a beloved husband and father. He was a remarkable pillar of strength and will be sorely missed by his family and friends. John had a passion for life and was a great inspiration to many of those who knew him. There was never a dull moment in our life with John. We loved him dearly.
Sue and her family would like to thank Dr. Joseph Schmidt, UCSD; and Dr. Frederick Millard, Moores Cancer Center, for their professional guidance and care.
They would also like to thank their family and friends for their compassion and support over the years.
Services will be held on Thursday, August 29, 3 p.m., at Sonrise Christian Fellowship (formerly Fallbrook Presbyterian Church), 463 South Stage Coach Lane, Fallbrook, California.