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Edward B. Mucho

Company L-2

21 Mar 1939 - 27 Mar 2017

Place of Death: Los Angeles, CA

Interment: Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Burke Mucho, on March 27, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA, after a valiant two-week battle to defeat a dangerous MRSA staph bacterial infection.

Burke is survived by his devoted partner, Sandy Shapiro; his sons, Rob and his wife Wendy, Burke and his wife Emily; his grandchildren, Caroline, Rachel, Al, and Carson; his brother Gary and his wife Chris; his sister Kim; his niece Kristen and his nephew Ryan.

Funeral services will be on Thursday, April 6 at 11:00 AM, at St. Jerome Catholic Church, 5550 Thornburn Street (at La Tijera Blvd), Los Angeles, CA 90045. A reception will follow at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Interment will be at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2017 at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA

For those coming from out of town and wanting to stay at the Hyatt Regency International Airport Hotel, a block of specially priced rooms has been set aside. To book a room use Passkey Link: . Please contact Sandy at if you have any problems or questions.

Condolences for any of the family members may be sent to Sandy at 4542 Willis Avenue, #208, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Burke’s memory be sent to St. Jerome Parish Community, 5550 Thornburn Street, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Well done, Burke.  Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\L-2 Burke Mucho.pdf

Classmates who attended the service: Barry; Campbell (with Judy); Dunning (with Carol); Eiland (with son, Jono); Grannemann (with Jan);  Hokins; Hyde (pallbearer and Words of Remembrance); Lenhart; McCann (pallbearer); Nevins; Urette;  Marty Sommercamp, John's widow, also attended.


March 21, 1939 - March 27, 2017 Edward "Burke" Mucho passed away March 27th, in a Los Angeles hospital, after a vailant 2-week battle to defeat a dangerous bacterial infection. Burke was born on March 21, 1939 in Rock Springs, WY, to Edward and Josephine Mucho. As a military "brat," Burke grew up living across the US. He graduated from Chateauroux High School, an American school, in France. Upon graduation, Burke received his appointment to the United States Military Academy. He graduated from West Point in June of 1961 and began pilot training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX. Burke began his 17-year marriage to Valerie Jo Harris in 1962, during which time their two sons were born. In July of 1969, Burke began his tour of duty in Vietnam. After his return, he was stationed across the US and was selected for promotion to Colonel, but chose to retire after 21 years of military service. At this time, he began his civilian career. Burke worked for Hughes Aircraft Company and then Northrup Grumman. His accomplishments were many, but he was most proud of his combat missions in Vietnam, his work on the GPS System at Hughes, and the B-2 Program at Northrup Grumman. In 2003, he went into full retirement and began traveling extensively with his partner of 22 years, Sandy. He was a devoted grandfather and loved to cook for family and friends. In addition, Burke was an accomplished pianist, and even played at the Paris Conservatory while living in France. He loved to ski and spent time with the Single Ski Club. Burke is survived by his devoted partner, Sandy; his two sons, their wives and four grandchildren; his brother and his wife; his sister; and his 2 nieces and 2 nephews. Funeral services will be on Thursday, April 6 at 11:00 AM, at St. Jerome Catholic Church, 5550 Thornburn Street (at La Tijera Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90045. Interment will be at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2017 at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, CA 92518. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Burke's memory be sent to St. Jerome Parish Community, 5550 Thornburn Street, Los Angeles, CA 90045.


Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 6, 2017

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

Edward B. Mucho  1961

Cullum No. 23685-1961 | March 27, 2017 | Died in Los Angeles, CA
Interred in Riverside National Cemetery, CA




Edward Burke Mucho was born to Edward (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Retired) and Josephine Mucho in Rock Springs, WY on March 21, 1939. He was a military “brat” from day one, living in a total of 12 locations and an experienced world traveler by the time he entered West Point. He began playing the piano while living in Boise, ID and wowed crowds by playing “Bumble Bee Boogie” at age 10. While a senior at Chateauroux American Dependent High School in France, his crowning glory was a piano recital at the Paris Conservatory, and, after he completed playing the difficult “Saber Dance” number, he was then honored to play his “Boogie Woogie.” Burke also played football and wrestled. On his high school graduation day in 1957, he received his appointment by Wyoming Senator Frank A. Barrett to join the West Point Class of 1961, completing the first step of his goal to become a USAF pilot. 

Born a son of the West and arriving at West Point as a young man of the world, Burke’s transition from high school to cadet was seamless, and he excelled in the environment and challenge of becoming an officer in the USAF. Academics and the Tactical Department were never a threat. A natural athlete, he was a wrestler and a leader in many brigade intramural activities. However, his forte was music and participation in the social structure of the class and Academy. He sang with the Catholic Choir and the Cadet Glee Club. He was a team member in the development of the 1961 Howitzer and a member of the Hop Committee. Well respected and liked by his classmates, with always a good word for everyone, it was always a good idea, and never a dull moment, to be in his company at or away from West Point. 

After a memorable Corvette trip on U.S. Route 66 from West Point to Southern California and 60 days of sunshine, Burke reported to Reese Air Force Base (AFB), TX. Graduating pilot training in 1962, Burke was assigned to fly the C-124 Globemaster from Charleston AFB, SC. His proudest and most significant flying assignment was to the “Ranch Hands” in Vietnam (1969-70) flying the C-123 Provider in very low-level mission environments, which were not only dangerous but also controversial—defoliating the Vietnam landscape so targets could be identified and destroyed. Vietnam was followed by graduation at the Air Force Institute of Technology and various Research, Development, Test and Evaluation assignments at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. Returning to Southern California in 1977, Burke’s last assignment was in the USAF-led Global Positioning System (GPS) Joint System Program Office. This assignment was on the leading edge of technology and one of the 20th century developments that changed the way the world navigates! Selected for promotion to colonel, Burke declined the promotion to remain in Southern California and retired from active duty in 1982 as a lieutenant colonel.

After retirement from the USAF, he worked as a project manager for Hughes Aircraft Company and Northrop Grumman in project management for 22 years. At Hughes, he thought his career had turned full circle, as he managed primarily Army programs! However, at Northrop Grumman he got back into the blue suit and Navy world working on B-2 logistics and F-18 repair programs. 

Burke’s younger brother, Gary, was also a USAF pilot, and together they flew combat missions in Vietnam—unbeknownst to their mother! His sister, Kimberly, was born shortly after Burke’s graduation from West Point! Burke married Valerie Jo Harris of Los Angeles, CA in 1962, and they had two sons during their 17-year marriage: Michael Robert (“Rob”) and Joseph (“Burke”), both born while the family was stationed at Charleston.

Fully retired in 2003, Burke spent his retirement skiing with the Singles Ski Club and traveling extensively with his partner of almost 22 years, Sandy Shapiro, whom he referred to as his wonderful lady. He loved cooking and wowed family and friends with his creativity in the kitchen. Burke also spent time with his family, especially his four grandchildren. He could be found at any number of events: birthday parties, cheerleading competitions, swim meets, football games, and graduations.

Those who knew Burke are quite aware that he loved life and tried to make the most of his brief time on earth. He lived his life with integrity and honor, traits that he was born with but were finely honed at West Point. West Point was a defining moment in his life, and he cherished the men with whom he was associated, the lessons he learned as a cadet, and the camaraderie and esprit de corps stayed with him until the end. West Point allowed him to achieve his dream of flying, which was a passion that went beyond the job of being a pilot in the USAF. 

But being a father, husband, grandfather, and loving partner were the greatest ranks that he ever achieved, and those who knew Burke were enriched by his presence, a presence that will always be felt and missed by those who love him. We are eternally grateful for having him in our lives, and we are thankful to those who knew him and helped mold him into the unique person he was. 

On March 27, 2017, Burke made his final flight. He is greatly missed by all who knew him!

— Sons Robert and Burke, Brother Gary, Sister Kim, Sandy, and Classmate John Goldtrap