Michael J. Burns, 66, passed on December 10, 2018, in Surprise, Arizona, after fighting a decades-long and misunderstood battle with frontotemporal degeneration. Born October 19, 1952, to Dennis and Marilyn O'Neil Burns, Mike was the fourth of seven children. He spent his early years in Marlette, Michigan, before his family moved across the state to Vicksburg. After graduation from Vicksburg High School, he joined the Air Force. Very quickly, his aptitude for languages became apparent. He attended the Defense Language Institute to learn Mandarin. His fluency served him well in his military service, but also throughout his life. He was often known to have lengthy conversations with the staff at Chinese restaurants much to the bemusement of his children. Mike left the Air Force at the end of his enlistment and returned with his young family to Vicksburg. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in accounting and a minor in linguistics. Soon after passing the CPA exam, Mike began his career in the Grand Rapids area where he lived until 2010. His final years were spent in Arizona. Mike was happiest surrounded by his family. He was a loving father to Joanna (David) Brace, Amanda (Ben) Maher, and Alex (Lauren) Burns. He was their biggest fan and greatest cheerleader, rarely missing their games or school events. They vow to remember him by living with tenacity, laughing often, and loving well. Likewise, his intelligence and sense of humor will live on in his grandchildren--Jack, Will, and Emily Brace, Henry Maher, and Margaret, Charlie, and James Burns. Always up for a good time, Mike enjoyed family gatherings with his siblings: Denny (Carol) Burns, Pam (Bill) Minarik, Pat Burns, Rusty (Terri) Burns, and Lisa Burns. Mike was preceded in death by his father and his sister, Annette Meengs. Mike will be laid to rest at the Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek on February 8, 2019. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.