September 1, 1949 - March 4, 2020
Cremation will take place and a date for the celebration of Mikes life will be announced. The family wishes to thank all of Mike’s friends and fellow safety officers that visited during his illness. Your stories were heart warming, amusing and soothing for our loss. Memorials may be made to a Fallen Officers Memorial of one’s choice, c/o the funeral home.
“The Measure of a Man is the size of his heart.”
Michael Victor Vorick was born at Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo, Michigan, September 1, 1949 to Michael Vernon Vorick and Ann Marie Rapacz Vorick. He graduated from Hackett Catholic High School in 1968, one of the best football players on the Irish team. He married Patricia Connors in 1978 who passed away in 2012. Mike and Patty had two sons, Michael IV and Mitchell. Mike cherished both with all his heart. Mike died March 4, 2020 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo surrounded by the abundant love of his family, and friends at the age of 70 from glioblastoma multiforme.
“The Measure of a Man is the legacy he leaves.”
Like his father, Mike also served as a military police officer in the US Army. Mike served his country during the Vietnam conflict from May 1969 to May 1971. He transported and guarded ordinance in Vietnam and Thailand. He achieved the rank of Sergeant and was honorably discharged. Upon arriving home he immediately enrolled in college to acquire a degree in law enforcement. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1976 and began a 32 year career serving the city of Kalamazoo as a police officer. When the city implemented its public safety program in 1982, Mike cross trained to become a public safety officer until he retired in 2008.
“The Measure of a Man is in the lives he has touched.”
Over the years that Mike served the community he took great pride in his profession, and the relationships he built with his fellow officers. He especially enjoyed working with and building relationships with the young recruits, which was confirmed by the number of officers that visited him in his final days and the stories they told of his strength, compassion, wit, humor and integrity. His peers spoke of their admiration of his character, and the relief and confidence they felt when he was their backup on a tough call.
When Mike retired from the city, He took little time before he was back to serving the community, this time with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department in 2009 policing the Kalamazoo Battle Creek International Airport. He worked as a deputy for eight years, again making many friends, and meeting his best friend and love, Jacqueline (Jackie) Vernia.
“The Measure of a Man comes down to moments, spread out like dots of paint on the canvas of life. Everything resides in the small, seemingly ordinary choices of everyday life…..Each decision seems as insignificant as a left hand turn on an unfamiliar road when you have no destination in mind. But the decisions accumulate until you realize one day that they’ve made you the man that you are.”
Writing this tribute to my brother has been a bittersweet task. My sadness at times intertwines with wonderful memories. I was the youngest and only girl in our family. Mike was my big brother and protector my whole life. He took me fishing, he took me dancing, he scared away a lot of young men he didn’t want me to date. As Mike’s health slipped, we all surrounded him with love and took care of him. At one point as I was helping him shave and brush his teeth he said “I’m so sorry you have to do this,” and I said Mike, “if I was ill you would take care of me.” He replied, “If you were ill I would never leave your side.”
From his sons, Mitchell and Michael — Our father was always there for us, and spent his life providing for his family. He showed us how to be a man every day through his actions. He was loving, caring, and will be deeply missed.
From his son Mitchell – My father’s compassion and patience for us was limitless, and hopefully I can be half the father he was when that day comes.
“The measure of a man is not how great his faith, but how great his love is. Not how great his gains, but what he gives. Is not how he died, but how he lived.”
Mike loved his family. He loved to serve. He loved helping people. He loved his profession. He loved everyday he went to work.
He is survived by his fiancée Jackie, sons Michael and Mitchell, brother Gary Vorick (wife Sherry), sister Debra Vorick-Cooley, (husband David), nephew Andrew Vorick, niece Ann Marie Juba, (husband Michael), grandnephews William, Charlie Juba, grandniece Gwen.