Jan. 3, 1954 - Dec. 19, 2013
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NILES - Michael Jay Burks, age 59 years, of Niles, Michigan, and formerly of Buchanan, Michigan, died at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 19, 2013, at Lakeland Community Hospital in Niles following an extended illness. He was born on January 3, 1954, in Niles, to Thomas J. and Lois J. (Purucker) Burks. He was graduated from Buchanan High School, and had lived in Niles since 1998. He was employed by SEMCO Energy Gas Company for thirty-six years, retiring in 2009. Mike volunteered with the Buchanan City Fire Department from 1973 until 1993, and with the Buchanan City Police Department Reserves from 1980 until 2006, and was honored to serve as a Captain of each unit. He also volunteered with the Four Flags Apple Festival as an Associate Board Member and the Berrien County Youth Fair, and was a member of the Sons of the American Legion Post #51, and the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge #449, both in Buchanan. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, and his pet dogs. Mike is survived by his wife, Carmen Burks, and by his children, Corey (& Kristina) Burks of Berrien Springs, Michigan, Chris (& Stephanie) Burks of Buchanan, and Michelle (& Mitch Sebastian) Pence of Buchanan; grandchildren, Abbigail Pence, Michael Jay Craw, Matthew, Brandon and Tyler Burks, Jacob Przybylinski, Jamie and Jason Harkrider, and Jacob and Makayla Aalfs; Mike's mother, Lois Burks of Buchanan; his sister, Karen (& David) Carvell of Portage, Michigan; brother, Bryan (& Gail) Burks of Battle Ground, Washington; several nieces and nephews; and Carmen's sister, Missy (& Scott) Delay, & their son, Jake. He was preceded in death by his father, Tom Burks, who died exactly four months ago on August 19, 2013. The funeral service for Mike Burks will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 27, 2013, at the Faith United Methodist Church in Buchanan, with Pastor David Mitchell of Faith Victory Fellowship in Buchanan officiating. The service will conclude with honors and a motorcade by the Fire Department and by the Police Department. The family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday from 2:00 until 4:00 and 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles. Contributions in memory of Mike may be made to the Michigan Chapter of the Huntington's Disease Society of America, Post Office Box 21037, Lansing, Michigan 48909. www.halbritterfunerals.com
HALBRITTER FUNERAL HOME
615 E MAIN ST Niles, MI 49120
Published in South Bend Tribune on Dec. 22, 2013