John Michael McGurk, M.D.

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John Michael McGurk, M.D., age 31, was born on April 24, 1985. His parents were Donald and Karen Mc- Gurk, both Ph.D. chemists. They were so excited when he was born. They now had a daughter, Suzanne, and a son. Tragically, John died on Friday, February 10, 2017, while vacationing at the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. John loved seeing and experiencing the world. Travel was an important part of his life. It is surmised that while preparing to photograph the beauty of this island from a well known overlook John lost his footing and fell from a cliff. Three heroic fisherman can be praised with successfully recovering John, after a two day unsuccessful effort by the Coast Guard due to treacherous tides and rocky shorelines. One fisherman was quoted as saying, "We are going to send that boy home." At the time of his death, John had never been happier. He had a wonderful job that he loved. He had also met the first love of his life, Michelle Weber. John is now with his Lord John Michael McGurk, M.D. and Savior Jesus Christ. He was a faithful church attendant. John became a child of God in June, 1985, when he was baptized. He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church near Bessie, Oklahoma. At his current church in St. Louis, John sang in the choir, participated in the yearly Christmas cantatas, and was one of the church song leaders. Early extraordinary memories of John were centered around his amazing feats of memory. At the age of three, he had studied the Rand McNally United States Road Atlus so thoroughly that he could recite the population of any town or city to the nearest thousand. He also had a profound fascination for weather. John had amassed a scrapbook cataloging the daily forecasts throughout the Unitied States for a number of years. Given a date and city, he could tell you the temperature and weather conditions without hesitation. Being so young and a medical doctor, most of John's life, thus far, was centered around education. John graduated from Weatherford, Oklahoma, high school in 2003, as a valedictorian. He received a standing ovation to the chant of "Mad Dog," the exact opposite of his personality. John attended The University of Oklahoma, intending initially, on becoming a meteorologist. This evolved over the span of his college years. He ultimately graduated with a degree in biochemistry, and a minor in zoology, along with all of the requirements for Pre-Med. He was a summa cum laude graduate with a 4.0 GPA. John was accepted, at his first interview, to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, one of the top-rated medical schools in the United States. Following the four years at UT Southwestern, John accepted a three year residency offer in Internal Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, coupled with Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon completion, he decided to, ultimately, become an internal medicine primary care doctor. With the recommendation of one of his mentor doctors, John received an extraordinary job offer at Memorial Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis. It was a very challenging job, but he thrived on challenge. John happily devoted much of his free time in St. Louis to his girlfriend, Michelle, and to his music. In honor of his father, he had made it his personal goal to become an accomplished pianist, as his father was. He was, always, very devoted to his family. John will be deeply missed. Survivors include John's mother, Dr. Karen McGurk; sister, Dr. Suzanne Burnett; brother-in-law, Dr. Hugh Burnett; nieces, Rebecca Burnett and Sydney Burnett; aunts, Carol McGurk, Dr. Pamela Reichert, Dr. Debra Gudgel, and Dr. Linda Nimmo; uncles, Dr. Joseph Reichert and Dr. Charles Nimmo; cousins, Jessica Hicks, Melissa Finnegan, Jamie Johnson, Emily Moore, and Angela Penick; and last, but not least, his cat, Danny. Deceased are his father, Dr. Donald McGurk; and his grandparents, John and Lela McGurk and John and Lillian Reinschmiedt. John inherited his phenomenal memory from his father, and grandfather Mc- Gurk. He inherited his shy, kind personality from both grandmothers. Memorials may be given to: Peace Lutheran Church P.O. Box 97 Bessie, Oklahoma 73622, Friends For Life Animal Sanctuary P.O. Box 1965 Weatherford, Oklahoma 73096, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, 825 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, or Alzheimer’s Disease Research, P.O. Box 1950, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Peace Lutheran Church on State Highway 183, near Bessie, Oklahoma.