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John S. Burles

November 13, 1947 ~ June 12, 2022 (age 74)


John Steven Burles was born November 13,1947, in Coos Bay, Oregon.  He died with his family by his side June 12, 2022, in Coos Bay, after a yearlong battle with cancer at the age of 74.

Growing up, he treasured his summers on his uncle’s farm in Eastern Oregon operating the farm machinery, running free through the forests of his Coos Bay neighborhood, and waterskiing on Tenmile Lakes. He was the student body president and graduated from Marshfield High School in 1965 and attended Oregon State University graduating with honors in 1969 in Industrial Engineering. 

He entered officer candidate school in the United States Navy and was singled out for his talent.  John was posted to the Mare Island Nuclear Power School in Vallejo, California where he taught thermodynamics and celestial navigation.  Concurrently, he earned his accounting degree attending night school, although he rarely attended the classes because he could learn without classroom instruction. Out of 18,000 applicants testing in the U.S., he finished in the top 50 for his CPA license.  He returned home and joined his father’s Coos Bay accounting practice in 1974.  He began his work guiding individuals and helping institutions immediately. Many of his client list up until his retirement in 2013 had never had another accountant other than John or his father. The success of his clients was in part due to his accounting and business leadership.

John was always interested in technology and innovation. In the mid-1970s he had a vision of making a computer for personal use. He and local investors pioneered the microcomputer revolution that was first to run the Pascal programming language. Although the business did not take off, it was an early addition to the computer world we know today.

He was proud of his47-year tenue at the North Bend Medical Center that began in 1975 first as a financial advisor, CFO in 1998 and then becoming CEO in 2013. He led the clinic through growth as well as challenging times, including the 2019 Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

When he was 70, he purchased the local CrossFit type gym to keep the doors open. He enjoyed the challenging exercise and company. Part of his retirement plan was to take a workout class and then hang around and drink coffee.

John quietly had a hand in countless organizations. He played a major role in the financial stability of the Boys and Girls Club and served on the board as Treasurer. He initiated and set up the financial trust of Carl and Camilla Rietman in 1997 that aids in college scholarships for students at Coquille High School. John enjoyed running with his friends and he was active in the runner’s group in the Coos Bay area, including being a founding member of the Steve Prefontaine committee where he acted as Treasurer for several decades. With his computer skills, he developed the DOS based system used for years to track the times for the annual Pre 10k run. This timing system was also used for years for all the swim meets held at the North Bend pool. In addition, John also ran in the 10K Pre run 15 times. He was the assistant Marshfield High School varsity cross country coach, running every work out with the team in the late 1990s.

He had a lifelong love for the flat-water mornings on the slalom ski course on Tenmile Lakes where he earned the name ‘The Legend of Lindross’.He made memorable moments for the friends and family he took to the lake. He also loved to travel and visited many countries with his wife Eugenia.

John is survived by his two previous wives, Jean Brown and Angelika Burles; as well as his present wife, Eugenia Sokol; seven children, Scott Burles(Holly) of Walnut Creek, CA, Erica Burles(Darby) of Carlsbad, CA, Steve Burles (Cory) of Vancouver, WA, Greta Krost (Todd) of Lakeside, OR, Cody Burles (Megan) of Vancouver, WA, Henry Burles of Portland, OR; stepson, Semone Sokol (Alina) of Kviv, Ukraine;  his sister, Sandra Manders (Ernie); brother, James Burles (Sherry); and sister-in-law, Marion Burles;  13 grandchildren, Tyler, Zane, Nora, Jack, Leah, Karen, John, Hazel, Tim, Will; and step grandchildren, Karolina, Alisa, and Anna.

His parents, John and Roberta Burles; siblings, Bob Burles and Sylvia Clark; and adopted son, Joe Burles all preceded him in death.

He will also be truly missed by cousins, nieces and nephews, and many lifelong friends. We all will treasure our time we had with him.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the John W. Burles Memorial Scholarship through the SWOCC Foundation online at and note “In memory of John S. Burles”. Checks may also be mailed to SWOCC Foundation, 1988 Newmark Ave. Coos Bay, OR 97420. John said, ‘education is always a good investment.’

A celebration of John’s life and memorial will be held from 2 pm to 4 pm, Saturday, July 30, 2022at the Bristol Building at 481 Bennet Avenue in Coos Bay. Parking at the site is limited to handicap, and all others can park in the Banner Bank lot, the lot behind the library, as well as the public lot across 4th street and street parking.

Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John S. Burles, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for John S.

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Celebration of Life
July 30, 2022

2:00 PM
Bristol Building
481 Bennett Avenue
Coos Bay, OR 97420

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