MICHAEL KEVIN BURKEEN
October 6, 1969 – October 15, 2020
Michael Burkeen was born on October 6th, 1969 in Bethlehem, PA to Edward and Karna Burkeen. At 51, Michael passed away peacefully at his home on October 15, 2020. He was surrounded by family.
Michael was a devoted hockey, art, and dance team dad. While admittedly not gifted at any of these activities, he was the loudest and proudest fan of his children’s activities and endeavors. He did excel on the legendary Cincinnati flag football team; the Nati Dreds. Feared for his speed, competitiveness and his infamous game face known simply as “the stare”, he made quick friends with teammates and competitors alike and was quick to raise a Heineken when the final whistle blew.
Marketing trainer, brand manager, professional guidance counselor, king of the one-liner, and fantasy sports pro are all titles that Michael wore with pride. Michael was mentor to others while working at Procter & Gamble, ConAgra, Intuit, and USAopoly and he was a fixture at his graduate school alma mater, University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. His passion for professional development was evident.
Undoubtedly, Michael wore the title of husband, father, son and big brother the best; always with the broadest of infectious smiles while describing the latest accomplishment or anecdote of his family.
His legacy will live through countless others as he was a co-founder of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSHM) while just a freshman at Cornell University. Recognizing an absence of minorities in leadership roles at hospitality companies, Michael was instrumental in creating and then growing NSMH. Today, thousands have benefited from NSMH and companies have become better and more diverse because of his leadership.
Michael is survived by his wife, Annette (Mixon) Burkeen; his daughter, Alyssa; and his son, Edward. He is also survived by his mother Karna Burkeen; his brother Kenneth Burkeen; and his cousin Derrick Evans.
A celebration of life, with limited seating, will be held in his honor at 1PM PST on October 23rd at 684 S Mollison in El Cajon, CA 92020. Due to these unprecedented times, there will be a Facebook Live streaming of the service at that same time for those unable to attend. The live stream can be viewed on the Facebook page of Miramar Memorial Services.
While Michael liked flowers, he’d love for you to consider donating to the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality’s (NMSH) Legacy Fund in lieu of flowers at https://bit.ly/3mggqD8. To share a memory of Michael or send a condolence to his family please visit www.miramirmemorialservices.com
Friday, October 23, 2020
MICHAEL KEVIN BURKEEN
November 7, 2020
To Michael's wife and children,
I grew up in Michael and Kenneth's neighbourhood. Although he was a bit older than the rest of us, he always tolerated our games of tennis baseball and our teasing. He was so cool and we just wanted to get his attention. His mother and late father were some of the nicest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. I can't begin to imagine how difficult this time is for you all. I think, too, of Kenneth and Karna.
I just want to let you know how deeply deeply sorry I am. I hope that you can derive some comfort from knowing how cherished Michael's memory will be. With love, Heather (Broderick) Reynolds
October 26, 2020
Michael was my coworker and friend over the years. He was a bright light of love. So sorry for your loss and the worlds loss. Prayers to the family for healing as you celebrate and honor his life. Cindy
October 26, 2020
Mike was one of my favorite Hockey managers ever. Loved to talk to him about game shows and hockey. We would always have a good chuckle about Eddie the Eagle in the net. He was so organized and really cared about the whole hockey program. I would always joke with him about Eddie being the last one out of the locker room , and he would give me the nod....Yep that is Eddie for ya. He was a true leader and awesome person to be around. I know for sure Mike is up in heaven Managing Gods hockey team. We are going to make you proud on the ice Mike. Love ya buddy.
October 23, 2020
Michael was truly special, one-of-a-kind. Over nearly 30 years of friendship, he was consistently funny, caring, kind, smart, and inspiring. In his short time on earth, he covered more of us in love than most people could in twice his lifetime. Every memory of Michael makes me smile and my life was forever changed for the better the minute I met him in 1993 at the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners conference. I saved the card he sent me after that meeting, providing professional encouragement and support that turned into an amazing friendship. His deep love of his family and friends is a lesson I will carry on my heart until I see him again. Love to Michael’s entire family and especially his sweet wife, Annette. Love you.
October 23, 2020
Michael was one of my very best friends for 15 years - for so many reasons. Not only was he authentic and bringing that out in others but he had a great way of balancing being fun and being serious. What I will miss most is my weekly calls/texts with him - to check in on weekend plans and share stories about our families. Michael was always there for me - reminding me of what was important and what to let go. I wish I could see him 1 more time - to hear his smart remarks - to drink a beer - to have a good laugh (or cry) and to receive a big hug. Michael was truly one of a kind!