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Michael Francis Burke

May 18, 1969 ~ June 24, 2019 (age 50)

Michael Francis Burke, of Athens, passed away at the age of 50 on June 24, 2019. Michael was born on May 18, 1969 to Paula S. Burke and John D. Burke.

Michael began his education at St. Joseph Catholic School and attended Clarke Central High School. He was an active member of Athens Creative Theater throughout his school years. Michael continued his education at Brenau University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater in 1995. He was a member of the Gainesville Theater Alliance. After graduating from Brenau University, Michael began his career as a professional actor. His journey took him from the Great Smokey Mountains of Cherokee, North Carolina to the Florida coast and eventually to the city of Chicago. During his time in Chicago Michael became a member of the European Repertory Company.

After a decade of performances in Chicago, including the Steppenwolf Theatre, Michael returned to his home town of Athens, GA. Michael continued his work in theater as well as in radio at WUGA, and was a member of the Town and Gown Players. 

We will mourn the loving man who lost his courageous battle with cancer. Michael loved life completely and lived it fully. Michael is predeceased by his parents and his sister, Kathleen Frances Burke, and is survived by his siblings, Kevin Francis Burke, and his wife, Yoshiko, Claire Frances Burke, Diana Frances Burke, Thomas Francis Burke, and his niece Mary Kathleen Fetch. 

A funeral service and visitation will be at Lord and Stephens Funeral Home West on July 5, 2019. Visitation will be from 11:30 -1230 p.m. and the service will held in the chapel at 12:30 p.m. A celebration of Michael's life will follow at the Morton Theater at 6:30 p.m. Burial services will take place on July 6 at 10:00 a.m. at Evergreen Memorial Park. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Michael's memory to Town and Gown Players, the local theater where he was a member and where he last performed in summer 2018. Send to: Town and Gown Players, PO Box 565 Athens, Ga. 30603 or go to

Lord and Stephens Funeral Homes, WEST, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements.

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