Judge John R. Mull, 59, of Woodwind Dr. in Valdese, NC died unexpectedly Sunday, July 19, 2009. He was born November 5, 1949 in Burke County, and was a son of Garland Mull of Glen Alpine, and the late Eleanor Cowan Mull. John was a graduate of Glen Alpine High School, and then attended Wake Forest University where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa during his junior year. John graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wake Forest in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was awarded a George Foster Hawkins scholarship for his undergraduate work and a Guy T. Carswell scholarship for his first year in law school. While in law school at Wake Forest, John served as a member of the Law Review staff. He earned his law degree in 1977.After admission to the North Carolina Bar in 1977, John engaged in the private practice of law in Morganton for 20 years until January of 1997. As a "courthouse lawyer," he built a broad-based general practice with a heavy concentration in criminal and domestic cases. Over his legal career, he had served as Secretary/Treasurer of both the Burke County Bar Association and 25th District Bar, and as President of the 25th District Bar in 1996. From January of 1997 until 2002, Mr. Mull served as an Assistant District Attorney prosecuting criminal cases in the Superior Courts of Burke and Catawba Counties. In 2002 and to the present, he was elected to and served as a Court Judge of the 25th District.In addition to his professional pursuits, Mr. Mull served two terms as a member of the Burke County Board of Public Education, multiple terms as Mayor pro tem and alderman for his home town of Glen Alpine, and on the Boards of The Glen Alpine Recreation Foundation, the Flynn Home of Morganton, Hospice of Burke County, and Repay, Inc., a court-affiliated alternative sentencing resource organization. John was a member of the Rotary Club for 20 years, and a member of the Local Red Cross emergency response team.In addition to his father, he is survived by his wife, Becky Shook Mull of the home; sons, Matthew Mull of the home, and John Mull, Jr. of Glen Alpine; a daughter, Rebecca Mull of Myrtle Beach, SC; grandchildren, Skylar, Damon, and Zoe Mull; a brother, Richard Ted Mull, M.D. and wife, Sonya of Bluefield, VA; a brother-in-law, Steve Shook and wife, Teressia of Morganton; a sister-in-law, Teresa Mosley and husband, Art of Valdese; a number of nieces and nephews and extended family; and John’s faithful canine companion, Luke.The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 24, 2009 in the First Baptist Church of Glen Alpine with Rev. Michael L. Brown and Rev. Dr. Bob Shepherd officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. At other times, the family will be at their residence. Memorial contributions may be made to The Educational Fund for Matthew Mull, c/o Suntrust Bank, 612 S. Sterling St., Morganton, NC 28655.

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