Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sad Times

My very good fried, Mike York, died August 31st and my Grandfather, Zeb Burrell died September 20th. Here are the reprints from the obituaries.

Grandpa's obituary from Groce Funeral Home

Zeb Edward Burrell

Born in Buncombe County on Mar. 26, 1919
Died on Sep. 20, 2008 and resided in Candler, NC.

Zeb Edward Burrell, 89, of Candler, went to be with his Lord Saturday, September 20, 2008 at Memorial Mission Hospital.
A native of Buncombe County he was a son of the late Wint P. and Cora Honeycutt Burrell. He is also preceded in death by his three brothers.
Mr. Burrell was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in WWII. He was a member of Pole Creek Baptist Church.
Surviving are his wife of 62 years, Helen Herren Burrell; a son, Ronald E. Hughes and wife Patricia of Marshalltown, IA; two daughters, Sandra Sprinkle and husband Charles of Candler and Pamela Kilpatrick and husband James of Castle Rock; seven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 3:00pm Wednesday at Pole Creek Baptist Church with Revs. Dennis Thurman and James Kilpatrick officiating. Interment will follow at the church cemetery and pallbearers will be Kelvin Sluder, Edward Sprinkle, Gary Widener, Colby Sluder, Christian Sluder, Rudy Herren and Zeb Sprinkle.
Military honors will be provided by Enka High ROTC.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.


Michael August York 1970 - 2008 Michael August York
Jan. 20, 1970-Aug. 31, 2008
Michael August York, 38, of Ames, died of septicemia at home on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at Unitarian Church, 1015 N. Hyland Ave., in Ames.
Instead of flowers, please make a donation in Mike’s name to the Arbor Day Foundation at

Here is what I read a Mike's funeral, more or less.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you a few observations and memories about Mike.

One of the most remarkable things about Mike was the extent of his love for family and friends. He showed his love through the generosity he extended to his friends, with his family and his animals. Early in our friendship, Mike learned that I had very little income, with just enough to cover rent. He took me grocery shopping. He took me to the movies and opened his house to me. His generosity was a very powerful show of love and friendship to me and I have never forgotten it.

There is no doubt that Mike loved his family. He often talked of his mothers and his sisters and the great sense of humor they displayed, even when fighting about something. And his nephews were like the children he had never had.

Mike was very perceptive about people and free with his advice if you were willing to take it. I personally benefited from it since I grew up in a very sheltered environment. With Mike’s encouragement, I grew into a woman who was able to stand up for myself. Mike was also free with his medical advice. He watched medical shows and read medical journals for fun. I used to teasingly call him Dr Mike when I had a cold and wanted to know what herb might be good to use.

He was not a snob, unless you were the kind of person who he described as ‘sucking the moisture from my soul’. He loved his clients he worked with for years who had developmental disabilities and got a lot of joy working with them.

Mike loved animals. During the time I have known him he has cared for ferrets, cats, dogs, macaws, sugar gliders, African pygmy hedgehogs, and potbelly pigs. Mike learned to do many of the veterinarian tasks to keep his animals healthy. He never did have a great deal of money; yet, he shared it with all of these creatures sometimes in menageries over 50 animals.

Mike’s love expanded to caring for the Earth. He recycled with a vengeance and got in trouble more than once for dumpster diving. His love for the Earth imbued his spirituality and informed most of his basic life decisions. He was very spiritual. He had a rare connection with owls. Once, when I was driving him home, he told me he had a dream that an owl died the night before. He had me drive a couple of turns out of our way and there we stood looking at a dead owl. He had an unusual relationship with computers and other electrical devices that seemed to go haywire around him.

Mike never met home improvement challenge he didn’t like; especially if it involved tearing something apart. I have helped him with tearing down walls, and roofing. I helped put in insulation, drywall, new cabinets and he was just getting started with the home repairs back in the days I was able to help.

Mike worked hard on his house but ultimately he was fun loving.

Mike wanted joy in his life and wanted you to laugh too. His sense of humor was silly and many times bawdy. To give you an example, I would like to close with Mike’s own words, a poem he wrote a few years ago:

Kissy pig, Kissy pig

Kiss pig ke-roo

If I were a pig, then you would be one pig too.

1 comment:

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Sounds like he was a great guy. My email is kim at Send me your info and I'll send it out ASAP!