Pilot, veteran and retired aerospace industry professional John Burkhart has been a member of the high desert community since he and his wife Terry bought their Johnson Valley home in 1991. He joined the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors in 2018.
Born in Alhambra, California, John spent his childhood on a 480-acre farm in Arkansas following World War II. There he learned to hunt, fish, and farm on the homestead without electricity and running water. These early days inspired his lifelong love for the great outdoors.
His family returned to Alhambra around the time of the Korean War. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Mt. San Antonio Junior College. An avid swimmer and scuba diver, he also earned his private pilot’s license and bought his first plane at age 19. He received his bachelor’s of science in business administration from California State University, Los Angeles.
His career in aerospace began shortly after college, when he worked on the Apollo and Saturn programs. He joined the California National Guard, 40th Armored Division, and trained at Fort Ord, California and Fort Gordon, Georgia.
He and Terry originally met while flying in Baja California. Together they published Flight Log, a pilot’s travel newsletter and flying club. Over the next 22 years they introduced pilots to the adventures of flying the Baja peninsula. Retirement brought the couple permanently to their Johnson Valley home in 2000.
John has also earned California licenses as a real estate broker and insurance agent. He is a husband, father and grandfather.
Term: 12/2018 – 12/2022
John R. Burkhart