John Richard Burrows

John Richard Burrows

June 30, 1932 – July 18, 2022

John Richard Burrows, 90, a longtime resident of La Cañada Flintridge, California, passed away on July 18, 2022, at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, due to cardiovascular disease.

John was born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, on June 30, 1932, to Ruth and John Burrows, Sr. He had two siblings, Jean H. Colony, who preceded him in death, and Tom G. Burrows.

While growing up in Iowa, John (or “Jack,” as he was known then) worked at the family-run newspaper, the Belle Plaine Union. It was while working at the newspaper that he was first introduced to the newspaper publishing business and began a lifelong interest in journalism.

During high school, John was captain of the football team and an Eagle Scout, roles which taught him leadership skills and values which he carried with him throughout his life, both professionally and personally.

John enrolled at the University of Iowa in 1950, where he later received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and was editor of the campus newspaper, the Daily Iowan. In appreciation of the education received, he would go on to establish a scholarship fund to support journalism students working at the Daily Iowan.

After graduating in 1954, John volunteered to serve his country in the United States Army. He was stationed at Fort Ord, near Monterey, California, where, as a First Lieutenant, he led the training of cadets at nearby Fort Hunter Liggett.

While on leave from Fort Ord, he attended the nearby Salinas Rodeo where he first met his wife-to-be, Barbara J. Rump, who was then living in Carmel while working at the Monterey County Hospital.

After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army in 1956, John enrolled at the University of Iowa College of Law. All the while, John and Barbara stayed in touch, with the two meeting again when John returned to California to see his alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes, play in the 1957 Rose Bowl. The two married in 1958 in Waterloo, Iowa.

Following graduation from law school in 1959, John practiced law in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is also where he began his 40 plus year career in banking (including, most recently, as head of the trust division at Citizens Business Bank in Pasadena). His three sons, Scott, Douglas and Matthew, were born nearby in Omaha, Nebraska.

After moving to Des Moines, Iowa (where he served as President of the Iowa Trust Association and President of the West Des Moines School Board), John moved west with his family to California in 1979, where he resided in La Cañada Flintridge for the remainder of his life.

John grew to love living in his home overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest. Along with his wife, Barbara, he supported the local Descanso Gardens Guild, where she also volunteered.

John was active in the broader community, including as a longtime member of the Los Angeles and Pasadena Rotary Clubs (where he was a Paul Harris Fellow), the University Club, and the Big 10 Club of Southern California (where he served as president). He also kept a long tradition over the years of gathering regularly with a group of friends at a coffee shop in Pasadena to talk about, among other things, Dodgers baseball.

John was a proud supporter of the Iowa Hawkeyes and in his later years would attend the annual homecoming football game with his son, Matthew. John was always moved to participate in the traditional “Iowa Wave” at the game — a special moment at the end of the first quarter, where fans (sometimes up to 70,000) and players pause to stand and face the adjacent University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and collectively wave to patients and their families watching the game from hospital rooms overlooking the stadium. This moment was particularly poignant for John as his son, Douglas, who was born with a severe cleft palate, had numerous surgeries at the same hospital as a child.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara and sons, Douglas and Scott. He is survived by his son, Matthew.

In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be sent to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Fund in Iowa City, Iowa, and to the Douglas R. Burrows Scholarship Fund at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the University Club in Pasadena, California, on October 14, 2022, at 11a.m. To RSVP, visit