Michael loved life and lived it to the fullest. He did more in his short 27 years than most do in a full lifetime. He will be missed terribly by all those whose lives he touched.

Memories of Michael

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From: Doug & Anne Nickerson (2005)

Dear Burke Family,

Our deepest condolences on your loss. Michael's death is a loss for everyone who knew him and for everyone who might have known him in the future. But no one's loss is as profound as yours. Our thoughts are with all of you in this terrible time.

Leo Buseagla wrote "Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, "Did you bring joy?" The second was, "Did you find joy?"

If this is so, Michael is well on his way. He brought joy, I know. We got to know him when he stayed with us during that first summer internship in Chicago. We will never forget his apple cheeks, his smile and easy conversation. He never had that constraint and awkwardness that so many young people have when talking with "their elders".

We jokingly called him our "good son" because he always called to let us know if he would be home for dinner. Our own son, James, who was busy establishing his independence was something lax in such matters. Michael's courtesy must have come from his innate and genuine kindness and consideration, but also from careful rearing.

Michael stepped up as a manicurist at James' wedding. The wedding party was all wearing flip-flops and all, even the young men, had painted their toe nails. James' dad had originally planned to hold on to his dignity but opted for the comfort of flip-flops. Of course, this left him with unpainted toes. But Michael grabbed some polish and took care of the problem with great good humor.

He did seem to be gifted in finding joy in life. He seemed interested in everything. He struck out unhesitatingly on adventures, such as the trip to Spain.

The world will be a poorer place without Michael Burke and we were priveledged to have known him even briefly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all

With deepest sympathy

Doug and Anne Nickerson

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