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· Registered
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry to say my friend, proud Irish American, scoutmaster, father, and rally driver Mike Burke has passed away. Many of you may remember his Club Audi's over the years with the Irish flags on them. Mike had taken time off to spend with his children as they grew. He was the only man I ever met who had a tree fall on his car while on a transit driving along. Always willing to help anyone with a wrench or a part. He will be missed.

Here is the local writeup.

"BURKE Michael Sean Burke, age 43, died on October 8, 2003 after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was employed by IBM and a member of SCCA and Boy Scout Troop 169 of Our Lady of Peace.

Survived by his wife of 18 years, Vickey (Williamson); son, Patrick; daughter, Catherine; parents, George and Bernadette Burke; brother, Bryan (Deb) Burke; sister, Jennifer (Michael) Payne; mother-in-law, Jean Williamson; brother and sister-in-law, David and Theresa Williamson; niece and nephews, Claire Burke, Matthew Parks, Joseph Payne, Mark Davis, Matthew and Ryan Williamson.

The family expresses their gratitude to Hospice at Riverside, and a heartfelt thank you to their family and friends from Our Lady of Peace Parish and School and Bishop Watterson High School for all their love and support.

Friends may call Saturday 5-8 p.m. and Sunday 5-8 p.m. at the NOVAK FUNERAL HOME, 4476 N. High St. (2 blocks north of Henderson Rd.), 268-8811. Prayer service Sunday 7 p.m. Michael's Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 20 E. Dominion Blvd. Msgr. Kenneth Grimes, Celebrant. Interment Resurrection Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the OLP Burke Children's Fund c/o 5th/3rd Bank, 3580 N. High St., Columbus, Oh. 43214.

Mike - may your faith, courage and laughter always be with us as an inspiration."


· Loose nut behind the wheel
1,099 Posts
Truely a great loss. I knew Mike and he was my father's "guide" at his first rally. Mike showed my dad around at STPR 2000 and my dad hasn't stopped talking about that event yet. It was all thanks to Mike.

Mark Utecht

· Big Jump 800
729 Posts
I think the most fun I ever had at a rally was co-driving for Mike in that Audi at Magnum Opus in '97. Mike lost his helmet after we changed a flat during a transit. He borrowed a full face helmet from Mark Utecht and, believe it or not, it was too small. Mike finished the rally with his big ole cheeks sticking out of that helmet.

The last time I saw Mike he was excited about life and looking forward to getting involved in rally again.

godspeed old friend.

J.B. Niday

· Registered
558 Posts
Mike and Yorgi introduced me to Rally at Magnum Opus '95. Throughout my fight with cancer Mike was an unending well of support and encouragment.

And for the record, the tree fell on the car on the stage, not on the transit.

He will be missed.

· Registered
149 Posts
I never had the privilege to meet Mike in person, but thanks to the advent of the web I always considered myself a close friend of him.
When I decided to build my car, I found out that he was building something similar.
So, I parachuted myself via email to his desk and just to confirm what others said about him, I was welcomed with his deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport.
He guided me and encouraged me through the process of building my odd ball car.
We even consoled each other through a period when I was also in a life threatening situation. I was fortunate enough to get through it and had an immense hope that one day I could meet him in a race.

I would like to share this episode of our technologic friendship.
This happened when I sent him the first picture ever of my car in action. This is his response which inspires me every time I read it, and now even more:

"That Pic is so cool! I'm jealous, that's my favorite color too. Maybe I

should hurry up and build my car. Heck, if I can't drive ever again then
get someone to thrash it! I could be a car owner. Like John Buffum! Keep in
touch, I'm always here! God Bless. MB"

I'll miss you MB.



· Registered
11 Posts
I am sorry to here that Mike has passed on. My thoughts are with his family. His car (Audi 4000) however will live on. It has been purchased by my buddy and I and is parked in a garage in Northern lower Michigan. Hopefully it (the car) and us will be at Sno-Drift in January. It seems to be a well built car with an exceptionally strong drivetrain. I guess most 4000's have a strong drivetrain.
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