Michael Olk: ‘Thank You’

Mike Olk
Mike Olk

Michael Olk died Wednesday—almost precisely 24 hours ago at this writing—from a massive stroke.

The brain infarction hit him at roughly 4:30 a.m. on June 1, 2014, while he was being treated at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., and it shut down all activity on the affected side of his brain, leaving him unresponsive and comatose. The stroke undoubtedly was a complication from the esophogeal cancer that had already been determined to be terminal.

He lingered until last night. Mike’s death this week, in effect, prevents what would almost certainly have been long, slow slide toward death in hospice care from terminal cancer.

The clip posted above was captured at the Olk Aid benefit at Lee’s Liquor Lounge on Dec. 7, 2013, an event that, coupled with an online donations effort organized by David Wildermuth, raised nearly $5,000 for Mike’s care. In the video, Michael thanks all his friends for their money, love and support.

While he speaks in this segment directly to the people in the room with him, I think it is safe to say that his very loving sentiment would extend to all of his friends and family, whether they were part of Olk Aid or not. Michael had a wide support network, a huge circle of people who loved him.

That is just one measure of the remarkable the life that this man lived.



  1. My Brother was my hero, I love him and will miss him, he was a great friend

  2. Thank you for checking in and leaving your thoughts, Robert. He was truly a great friend.

  3. Mary Beth Mahoney 06/20/2014 at 11:50 pm

    My condolences Rob. Sorry for your loss.

  4. I have had the honor to work with Michael at Macy’s and I’m really sad to hear of his passing. I enjoyed working with him he was just wonderful to work with. I really don’t know what else to say I’m just shock to hear that he was sick… I’m sorry for your loss.

  5. What a loss. My son Michael had so many good friends. He was witty, humorous and charming and touched so many hearts. He and I reconnected the last 3 1/2 years and had a wonderful relationship. Rest in peace, you are in a better place now. Love you, Dad.

    • He was wonderful, Allan. There is still a big bruise on my heart, even three weeks after his death. I’ve been through enough of this kind of loss, I know eventually the traumatic part of the loss fades. But he will be with me, and with everyone whose life he ever touched, forever. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. — Kevin.

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