Michael Alan Avok, 45, of Norfolk, NE

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Michael Alan Avok, 45, of Norfolk, died Thursday, July 30, 2015, at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

An informal graveside service for family and friends was held at Crown Hill Cemetery near Madison, Nebraska on August 4.

Michael was born Aug. 18, 1969, in Benson, Minn. His family later moved to Yankton, S.D., and he graduated from Yankton High School in 1987. It was at Yankton High School that Michael first discovered his talent for and love of journalism, and his devotion to that profession would guide much of the remainder of his life.

After graduating from Yankton High School, Michael attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism in 1993.

Michael’s dedication to reporting and writing was, in large part, due to his love of people. And that especially meant his family.

He married Carol Lintner on April 16, 1999, in Sioux Falls, S.D. A devoted husband, Michael loved his family and his in-laws and had a special place in his heart for his nieces and nephews.

Most of his working life was spent as an editor or reporter in the news rooms of papers of various sizes, from the Huron Plainsman in Huron, S.D., to the Omaha World-Herald in Omaha and the Pierre Capital Journal in Pierre, S.D. He also covered the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press in 2012.

At the time of his death, Michael was a reporter and editor for the Norfolk Daily News, where he covered everything from politics and immigration to agriculture and education. At the same time, he was a freelance writer and photographer for Thomson Reuters.

“Everyone at the Daily News will miss Mike greatly,” said Kent Warneke, editor of the News. “Mike was an extremely talented writer, always looking for the best way to present a story in a compelling fashion. His talent and his journalistic ideals were something that helped him stand apart from many other reporters.”

Michael was an old-school journalist in the best way. He cared for the people who were the subjects of his articles, and he was absolutely dedicated to getting their stories correct. He was also a true believer in the importance of newspapers to a community, which led him to stick with the profession he loved and serve as a mentor to younger reporters through many challenging years.

His incredible work ethic was always part of his personality, whether he was trying to meet a newspaper deadline or manage a McDonald’s restaurant, which he also did for several years.

No matter what he was doing for work, Michael’s outstanding sense of humor and innate ability as a storyteller were sure to brighten any room. He would do almost anything to get a laugh, but he also would offer advice or just a listening ear when someone was struggling. This self-proclaimed typical Norwegian will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Michael is survived by his wife, Carol, his mother, Judy Lowe and her husband, Kenrick; sister Angela Avok; aunt Janel Rodahl; brothers-in-law Robert Allen Lintner and Morris Lintner; sisters-in-law, Kathy Kohl and her husband, Mitch; Jan Fullner and her husband, Dan; and Marilyn Boe; niece and nephews, Allen Freudenburg and his wife, Beth, Andrew Freudenburg, Brittni Boe and her fiancée, Jason Koch; Dustin Boe and his fiancée Stephanie Kudera; and great-niece Avery Freudenburg.

Michael was preceded in death by his father, Roger, grandparents Elmer and Emily Avok and Carroll and Virginia Rodahl, father-in-law and mother-in-law Robert and Bernice Lintner; and brother-in-law Jeffery Boe.

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