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: Mark Fey (2005)

To the Burke family:

I wanted to offer my condolences to you during this most painful time in your lives. As was evidenced after this tragedy by the many mourners that came to pay their respects, Michael was a man whom touched the hearts of all that knew him.

I never had the honor of meeting this extraordinary man myself – and that will forever be my loss. In the past week, however, my outlook on life has perpetually changed. I realized that I must live life to the fullest and enjoy everything that God has given me. That I shouldn't sweat the small things, embrace those things that bring happiness to my life and those around me and, most of all, take the time to hold my loved ones a little tighter.

I believe that all people have certain qualities that make them distinctive. Some are creative, some innovators and others are born leaders. Yet few people have the ability to inspire. Even fewer have the ability to inspire those whom they have never met. Michael was one of those people. He was someone that I feel like I've known my entire life, yet I've never had the opportunity to play a round of golf or tailgate at an Iowa game with him, or even shake his hand for that matter. Yet I'm a better man now because of him, and I will be eternally grateful for that.

His zest for life, his ability to look ahead and his undying love for his family and friends should be embraced by everyone, and I certain that these qualities have not been lost on anyone that he has met.

While I know that you all have been embraced your family and lifelong friends, I just anted to let you know how your son and brother touched the heart of at least one person whom he had never met. Michael blessed m any people in so many ways, and I now each of you will continue to do the same.

My deepest and sincerest sympathies,

Mark Fey

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