|Birth: ||Aug. 9, 1923|
|Death: ||Apr. 12, 2011|
Jack V. Buerkle, 87, Temple radio host From "The Philadelphia Inquirer" April 21, 2011|By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer.
Jack V. Buerkle blended careers as though he were playing jazz, weaving one melody into another.
After serving as chairman of the Temple University sociology department in the 1960s and '70s, the former jazz musician hosted shows about music on the Temple radio station, WRTI-FM (90.1), into the 2000s.
In 1961, he coauthored "Altruism, Role Conflict, and Marital Adjustment" in the journal Marriage and Family Living. In 1973, Oxford University Press published Bourbon Street Black: The New Orleans Black Jazzman, which he coauthored with the musician Danny Barker.
Dr. Buerkle, 87, died of complications of Alzheimer's disease Tuesday, April 12, at San Juan Villa Dementia Care in Port Townsend, Wash. He was a former resident of Merion.
A 1994 Inquirer profile reported that until he was drafted into the Army during World War II, he aspired to be a jazz musician.
"Before being sent to Europe, where he saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge, Buerkle had played alto sax professionally in big bands and small combos.
"But after returning home to southern Illinois," he had an earnest conversation with "the woman he planned to marry, [who] gave him an ultimatum: Marry jazz, she said, or marry me.
"So Buerkle put down his horn and went to school."
The reporter wrote that after retiring from teaching, Dr. Buerkle in 1992 began "Jazz Encounters, 10-minute music-history segments that air five times a day. . . .
"As melodies from the appropriate period play softly in the background, Buerkle, sounding both genial and academically commanding, discusses the music from a theoretical and historical perspective."
At the same time, the article said, he had another WRTI show, the one-hour, Thursday-evening Jazz Encounters Today.
In addition to his on-air work, Dr. Buerkle was a WRTI program consultant who helped select the station's music.
Born in West Frankfort, Ill., he earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Illinois, and a doctorate in social psychology at the University of Iowa.
His wife, Martie, said that her husband studied music for a year and a half at Illinois before being drafted, but that after guarding Nazi officers at one of the Nuremberg trials, he changed his major to social psychology when he returned to college.
He taught briefly at Lake Forest College in Illinois, then for five years at Yale University and then at Pennsylvania State University.
In May 1962, the Temple News reported that Dr. Buerkle had just been named chairman of the sociology department. He had joined the faculty in 1960.
He completed his chairmanship in 1973 and retired from teaching in 1975, a Temple official said.
The Temple radio station programmed jazz full-time during the years Dr. Buerkle hosted his two shows there.
When WRTI blended classical music into its format in 1997, Dr. Buerkle shared a new Saturday-morning program, Crossover, with classical-music host Jill Pasternak. On one Saturday in December 2002, for instance, they interviewed Peter Nero, music director of the Philly Pops.
Dr. Buerkle was an elder at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and a commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Buerkle is survived by son Stephen; daughter Melanie Meissner; a brother; and two grandchildren.
A private life celebration is planned for the summer.
Clemence H. Buerkle (1898 - 1987)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: Michael Cremer
Record added: Jul 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73851896
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