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Michael's Story

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Michael R., 61, of Edgewood, died peacefully after a brief and courageous battle with bladder cancer, on Friday, July 7,2017. Born December 16, 1955 in Buffalo NY, He was the only child of the late Robert M. and Carolyn M. (Buscaglia) Neill. Beloved husband of James E. Burkett. Though legally married for only 3 years on June 10, they shared a loving partnership for over 37 years. Michael moved to Pittsburgh to study at the former Ivy school of Art. He was employed in the the advertising department of the former Horne department store. Passionate about theater and the arts, he went on to establish himself as an accomplished freelance graphic designer within Pittsburgh's arts community, having designed for the Pittsburgh Public Theater, City Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet, Heinz Architectural Center of the Carnegie Museums, and the Pittsburgh Board of Education. Likewise, he contributed his talents during the formative years of Persad Center Inc's Art for Aids benefit and the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society's film festival Reel Q. Michael was also a consummate cook, enthralling his friends and family with his endless creativity in the kitchen gleaned from his library of over 250 cookbooks. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Kathleen Burkett, Johnstown; brother-in-law, P. Gary Burkett (Janice), Somerset, and their children and grandchildren, and many friends who dearly loved him, aunts, uncles and cousins in Buffalo and Rochester, NY. No viewing. A memorial service will be held on Saturday July 29 2017, at Calvary Episcopal Church,315 Shady Ave. Pittsburgh. In Lieu of flowers,contributions in his memory may be made to the PLGFS's Reel Q or Persad Center Inc. Arrangements By Thomas L. Nied Funeral Home Inc. 7441 Washington St. Swissvale,PA 15218.
Published on July 9, 2017
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