Michael Duane Burtch
October 23, 1941 – March 28, 2013
Michael Duane Burtch, 71, passed away early morning on March 28, 2013, at his home in Turlock, CA, surrounded by his family. He was born a twin on October 23, 1941 in Springfield, MI, the youngest of Lt. Col. “Skip” and Helen (Searle) Burtch’s five children.
Michael Burtch grew up in Yuma, Arizona and graduated from Yuma High School in 1959. He served overseas as a medic in the U.S. Army from 1960-1963. From Northern Arizona University, Michael graduated with honors in 1968. For 39 years, he taught at Cunningham Elementary School in Turlock where he received many awards, including the Turlock Rotary Club Outstanding Teacher Award in 2001. After retiring in 2004, he became actively involved in Democratic politics, serving as first president of the Turlock Democratic Club and Chairman of the Stanislaus County Central Democratic Committee. He earned the John A. Perez Speaker of the Assembly Award in 2010; the Gertrude Parker/Todd Ogle Award in 2011 for outstanding service, dedication, and grassroots activism; and the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Award in March 2013 for a lifetime of public and community service. Mike’s greatest joy was reaching out to others and his home was always welcome to any person in need. He often volunteered at homeless shelters and food kitchens and gave to numerous wildlife preservations, medical research, educational advancement, and social equality charities.
He is survived by his three sons Aaron Burtch, Chuck Burtch, and David Burtch; his grandchildren Heaven, Mia, Ana, and a grandson to be born in July; his brother Chuck Burtch, sister Jane (Kelley) Burtch, and twin sister Marilynn (Orman) Burtch.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 8, 2013, at Lakewood Memorial Park (900 Santa Fe Avenue, Hughson, CA, 95326). Reception following the service at location to be announced. In his memory, donations will be accepted to help fund the Michael Burtch ‘Wooden Nickel’ Memorial Scholarship.
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