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

« Back to list of Memories

From: Susan Koch (2006)

Dear Family and Friends of Michael Burke,

Like you, I thought about Mike often this past week as the 2006 version of RAGBRAI was flowing across Iowa. As Michael Koch's Mom, I want to share one memory of Mike Burke with all of you:

Our home outside of Cedar Falls was the staging site for RAGBRAI for the two Mikes and Nick on that Saturday just over a year ago. I always enjoyed observing the anticipation and last minute preparations of those last few hours before departure; partly because I knew I was going to enjoy the adventure vicariously all week long via phone calls and newspaper reports without having to expend any effort riding a bike across the state myself! We had sandwiches, snacks and drinks around and the guys spent the afternoon alternating between watching a baseball game on TV, stuffing Mike Koch's vehicle with an amazing array of what had come to be known as "necessities" for the trip and telling stories about past RAGBRAI exploits. Mike Burke (an experienced uncle) was glad that our new grandson was visiting with Mike's sister, Kristina, from New York City and he also spent time playing with out visiting baby, Zane - an activity that he referred to as watching "Baby TV".

I especially enjoyed hearing the guys talk about the varying and mostly hilarious reactions they had gotten over the years on the ride in response to their colorful team name - Team Wet Dream. (Some of you will know that the guys spent hours every year scheming about creating exactly the right logo for the Team Wet Dream shirt, with the result always being something ...... creative. My absolute favorite is the image of the sleeping biker on his back with head and feet sticking out from either end of the tent and the tent pole being ............... a part of his anatomy that was ......... well ......... not sleeping.) This past year they had added some really awful blue hats to really set off their fashion statement.

When it was time to leave, we adjourned to the driveway where I took photos of the guys posing and ready to go. Some of those photos you've seen posted on this website. What I remember best is their joy in being together, their obvious love for each other and the delightful anticipation of what had become such a wonderful way for them to enjoy spending time together.

I am so grateful that Michael Burke was and remains a part of our son's life and part of the Koch family's life. Though we tried our best and failed to marry one of Mike's younger sisters off to him (not realizing until Mike's memorial service how fierce the competition was!), we treasure our memories of him. I think of Mike's parents, sisters, family and friends every day and hope that memories of him and the love from all of us is sustaining them.

I suspect that we are all living our lives in part now, in Mike's honor and that we are inspired to embrace life more fully and more joyfully because of him.

- Susan Koch (Mike's Mom)

P.S. Nick, your blue nail polish is still in the passenger side pocket of Mike's Pathfinder and I think of you and the exuberant "Team Wet Dream" with a smile every time I drive Mike's car and see it there. It will be there for you anytime you want to stop by and pick it up.

« Back to list of Memories

Share your own memories and photos!
We want this list of stories to go on forever. Please help by sending your stories and photos to memories@formichaelburke.com.