Michael Gerard Burke

Michael Gerard Burke, 57, suffered a heart attack and passed away August 29, 2022 at his home in Olathe, KS. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Monday, September 5, at AMC Studio 28 Theatre, 12075 S. Strang Line Rd., Olathe, KS.

Mike was born February 10, 1965 to John Patrick and Mary Jane (Hattendorf) Burke, the fourth of their six children. He grew up in Kansas City, KS along with his siblings Kathy, Tom, Patty, Bill and Mary Ann.  After a lively and injury-prone childhood, he graduated from Bishop Ward High School. Soon after, he spent a short stint in the Army, enlisting with his high school friend Mick Caraway, a brother from another mother kind of friend from his days at Ward.  After returning home he attended UMKC and KSU, spent time living with his brother and nephews, then began what would become an extended cycle of traveling back and forth between Kansas City and his home away from home, Seattle, WA.  In addition to his close friend Jim Lafferty, who joined him in this adventure, he developed a number of deep friendships in Seattle, including with Dan Hoppe and Jamie Burnett, who became very significant influences in his life for decades.

He had an incredible imagination and would regale you with his ideas about how great life could be.  He found so much joy outside of work, gaming and volunteering at a game shop owned by several friends, simply helping others to make the most of the opportunities they had and to build more skills and better strategies in games as well as in life. It was during this time that another lifelong friendship developed with Fred Broughton and his wife Sally. Friends were very dear to Mike and were like family to him.  Time spent gaming or amassing copious AMC Stubs points often forged bonds for life.

He had a few different fields in which he worked but he settled into doing IT Support for a variety of companies over the last 25+ years. One of his more memorable experiences happened during his time at Nordstrom’s in Seattle.  His support for a key and influential client in such a caring and genuinely helpful manner caught the ear of the CEO, and led to a meeting with Nordstrom’s President Blake Nordstrom. It was reflective of his passion for seeing problems solved and challenges overcome.

He found great joy in spending time with his nieces and nephews, Kyle, Steven, Andy, Laurel, Anna, Ryan, Abby and Noah. His creative mind and love for games helped to develop his fast and strong connections with them.

Eventually the draw of Kansas City, family and life would bring him back home for some important moments, including the passing of his parents almost 22 years apart.

Recently, in spite of more challenging days, he seemed to become more comforted, strengthened and¬†hopeful in his beliefs about God, life, and the out-of-control events happening all around us. His¬†thoughts ring resolutely in this recent text: ‚ÄúI have absolute faith that everything happens as God has it¬†planned. If the world goes into war and chaos, then God is allowing it for a purpose. HIS purpose. I look¬†for the lesson that the events are trying to teach me. We both know that in the end, God wins.‚ÄĚ

He was well known in the family for surviving some of the greatest injuries as a child, so it is no surprise¬†he viewed his life as ‚Äúliving on borrowed time‚ÄĚ for many years.¬† He endured heartaches, heartbreaks,¬†broken bones and battle scars more numerous than any of us may have imagined were possible, but in¬†spite of all that he held on and helped on, lifting others up in his own unique ways, looking for the best¬†in those he knew.

Preceding him in death were his parents John and Mary Jane Burke. Left to treasure his memory are his siblings Kathy Burke-Thomas and husband Jim Thomas of Leawood (Laurel and Ryan); Tom Burke of Gardner, KS; Patty Lowery and husband Dewey of Perth, Western Australia (Andy, Anna and Abby); William and Norma (Salgado) Burke of Kansas City, KS (Kyle, Steven); and Mary Ann Holmes and husband Michael of Shawnee, KS (Noah); three great nephews and a great niece, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to be sent to your preferred charity.

Visits: 1


  1. Justin Quimiro on September 2, 2022 at 9:50 am

    My heart is overwhelmed with your loss, and overjoyed with the hope of heavens gain . . . !

    May God bless all of your family with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

  2. Jim Lafferty and Jill on September 2, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    Jim and I were absolutely gutted to the core to hear this sad news! Mike’s mind was full of intellect and convictions that were unlimited, omniscient if you will…to say that if he were to bottled all of that, he could have made billions is an understatement! Jim and I loved his visits spending hours and hours of him narrating stories, facts and insight that he so graciously shared…sometimes there was even a bit of debate that was always fun…but Mike always made us understand how he felt and even in some cases…changed our point of views.

    We loved and adored him and will forever miss his laughter, his stories, his movie reviews, his general views on life and Balderdash will never be the same without him!

    Mike treasured his family and friends and he loved them deeply…his presence will be forever missed, we will continue to pay tribute to you always…with the utmost love and compassion friend. Rest is sweet peace Mike XOXO

  3. joseph v burke on September 2, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    My sincere sympathy, and prayers for Mike. May the Lord grant him eternal rest in His Kingdom
    of heaven.
    Uncle Joe Burke

  4. Dawn White on September 2, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    I am so truly sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I know that Steven & Kyle will miss him beyond words. My heart and prayers are with your family. May God give you peace comfort & Strength.

  5. Chris and Stephanie Wyller on September 2, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    Deeply saddened by Mikes passing. He’s on to his next adventure. It was and is a joy and pleasure to know Mike. Many fun memories and laughter built up over the years.
    Rest in peace our dear friend.
    We will miss you heaps.

    May the force be with you.
    Steph &Chris

  6. Arta Williams on September 3, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Was so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I know Steven & Kyle will miss him. Mike always was very welcoming to me at the family functions I was invited to. I enjoyed talking with Mike made you feel at home. God bless his caring family and may Mike rest in peace.

  7. Keith & Sarah Nguyen on September 3, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to Michael. Please accept our deepest condolences for your family’s loss. May you find peace in that he is now with God and your dear parents.

    Sending love and prayers your way,

    Keith & Sarah Nguyen

  8. Elizabeth Walsh Budd on September 5, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    Through my dear friend, Mary Ann, I had the opportunity to meet her brother Mike. He was very easy to connect with and talk to. I could tell he had a warm, kind and accepting nature. His sense of humor showed easily in his sparking eyes. I knew he played a beautiful and loving role with his nephews and nieces. Much peace and love to his family and friends over his passing.

  9. Joe Bartkoski on September 5, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    From the class of 83 at Ward, our sincerest condolences

  10. Audrey Boehm on September 5, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    I‚Äôm sorry I couldn‚Äôt be there today to share in the stories and memories of Mike. Some of my fondest childhood memories included visits with the ‚ÄúKansas City Burke‚Äôs‚ÄĚ as they were always good times. My condolences to his siblings and nieces and nephews who will miss him dearly. I will miss seeing him at family gatherings and pray that he is at peace.

  11. Dan Hague on September 12, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    My heart goes out to all the Family and friends. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be there. I wasn’t aware right away. Mike was a great guy to work with. He was always willing to help out at the office. A very patience and nice person all around. He will be missed.

  12. Mary Ann (Yonker) Grodowitz on November 8, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    My sympathy to all the Burke family.

Leave a Condolence