Michael Anton Burchill, 28 suddenly passed on December 16, 2020. Michael was born on June 23rd, 1992 in Burlington, ON. Mike was a friend to so many people in all walks of life. He would never deny an open hand, heart and always lent an ear or shoulder to those who needed him. His compassion to the world and to those close to him never faltered.
At an early age, Mike always wanted to serve his county. He joined RCSCC Chaudière (304) Sea Cadets in Milton, where he completed his Phase I and II training; attended HMCS Ontario where he received certification in GT and TG1 Sail, TG2 with VHF operator card, PCOC, Emergency First Aid and Bronze IV Sailing. During this time he continued swimming and skiing training moving through the various levels. He was also active in the John F. Ross C.V.I High School music programs in Band, Jazz and Choir. He graduated with honours in French Immersion.
After 2 years with Chaudière, we moved to Guelph where Mike transferred to RCSCC Ajax. He was promoted to Petty Officer 2nd Class then completing Phase III and IV training. He was assigned a staff position of Administration and Supply Petty Officer providing him experience with the workings of the Corps. This led to subsequent promotions to Regulating Petty Officer (RPO) at which time he would regularly command as the Coxswain was frequently absent. In 2007 Michael was honoured to be one of the leads parading the cadets into the ceremony of the 90th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge in France. In 2009 Michael had the opportunity to partake in a cadet exchange going to Bermuda. The highlight of his trip was to meet and talk to the Governor, Sir Richard Gozney. In 2010, Michael was awarded the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a cadet – the Lord Strathcona Medal Award.
It was during this period he completed his swimming training with the Bronze Medallion, Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (SCIA) Level 1 and 2 which certified him as a 2nd Level ski instructor (Blue Mountain’s youngest SCIA Level 2) and his CSCF Level 1 providing the certification as a ski coach. Mike started skiing at the age of 5 and when the snow fell, he could not get to the ski hill fast enough. During his high school years, Mike taught skiing at the Toronto Ski Club (TSC) for 4 years to individuals of all ages and abilities and even managing the March Break Camp consisting of 10 instructors and 80 students. Mike has always had a love for the outdoors.
Mike felt if he was to make a change or his mark within his country Canada, it was going to be within. Michael attended University of Ottawa achieving his Bachelor of Science with a Specialization in Public Administration in 2015. He became the President of the Ukrainian Students Club and rose over $2000 for the Friends of the Ukrainian Defence Force. Wanting to get further involved in our political environment, Michael assisted with election campaigns for Jody Mitic, Ottawa Municipal Election 2014 Orleans and with Mauril Belanger (deceased) during the 2015 Federal Election. Michael worked with Environics Communications (Proof) to further learn about Government Relations and had the utmost respect for his mentor, Greg.
University complete, now what…..a time for a change. Michael flew for WestJet Airlines for 2 years as a Cabin Crew Member. He and his Grandma Michasiw would share stories as she flew for Trans Canada Airlines as a Stewardess in the late 1950’s. With Grandpa Michasiw now retired from Air Canada, there was never a shortage of stories and laughs about the airline business.
Mike had an opportunity and jumped to get back into the public sector. He moved to Yellowknife in 2018 accepting a position as Constituency Assistance working for an MLA within the Northwest Territories Assembly (2 years), as well as working Kieron Testart’s territorial political campaign in 2019. Mike also volunteered his time on the Policy Committee for the Liberal Party. He loved the Territories, the hiking, fishing, helping to build a cottage, cross-country skiing and even endured mid-night golfing with his parents. I am told ‘this white man’ could build a mean fire!
He served people with tremendous compassion and the willingness to put the needs of others above himself. Michael has always wanted to serve his country and the people within and was recently investigating different avenues. Mike was a protector and believed by serving within, he would make a tremendous contribution. He had the utmost respect for peoples, cultures and their beliefs – if he didn’t know he researched or asked questions to understand their ideals. Michael has just successfully completed Aboriginal Studies through the University of Alberta. “Mom there is so much we were not taught in history classes. I have a much clearer understanding why we are where we are today.”
Michael was an animal lover and a fascination for owls from a young boy, particularly the snowy owl. As a young boy, he said the house was never empty with having his pet; his childhood dog, Nikki 17 years (2017) and a rescue cat of 10 years, Mercury (2020) who traveled across Canada with him and back. Dewey is with a wonderful family in Yellowknife and Ninji is clinging to Hailey.
Mike was an explorer from an early age, traveling coast to coast to coast. His first trip he was 2 weeks old flying to Thunder Bay for a family reunion. In 2001 Mike drove to Nova Scotia with Grandma seeing all the sights along the way and visiting family. In doing family research, Mike using his fingers over grave stones he found another part of our Cameron family. Another year, visiting family in Manitoba and discovering a desert and with Grandpa visiting his Ukraine his roots. A trip to Saskatchewan with his father visiting the Burchill side of the family. School trips included Eastern Europe and Washington. After graduating from the University he backpacked throughout Europe from the Netherlands through France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, attending the wedding of a dear friend in Greece, and visiting friends in Kosovo who took him to see Montenegro. Mike visited the State of Victoria Australia traveling the Great Ocean Road, visiting Pursell family in Mt. Eliza and Melbourne and sightseeing along the south and east coast. Then it was a hop over to the north Island of New Zealand with sand dune surfing, visiting the Hobbit Town, taking part in the aboriginal ceremonies and seeing where the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea meet. Mike never considered one place his home, but we knew his heart was among the stars.
He is survived by his mother, Elizabeth Anne Michasiw (Duncan Martin Pursell) and his father Robert Gerald Burchill. His significant partner, Hailey Paige Thatcher. His grandparents, Tony and Ruth Michasiw, Georgetown; Gerald and Jean Burchill (deceased). His god-parents Lenard Szarko and Sandra Burchill (Tyler). His half brother, Joshua Robert Burchill (Amy, Keira and Rylee) and three step-brothers, Will (Lauren) Pursell, Paul Pursell and Graeme (Kaayla) Pursell. Aunts, uncles, and cousins within the Michasiw, Burchill and Pursell families. And of course not to mention all his many many friends from all over Canada and around the world. A celebration of his life will be held in the summer, details will be provided at a later date.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Canadian Mental Health Association would be appreciated by the family. Donation cards are available at Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home (519-821-5077), or online at www.gilbertmacintyreandson.com.
« You are immensely loved and dearly missed my son! »
Wednesday December 16th 2020
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Michael Anton Burchill Wednesday December 16th 2020..
Décès pour la Ville:Guelph, Province: Ontario