MICHAEL SATHER GOERNE of Carbondale, Colorado passed away suddenly and tragically on February 16, 2019 in Crested Butte, Colorado at the age of 37. Michael was training in the backcountry for the 40-mile Grand Traverse ski race between Crested Butte and Aspen when he died in an avalanche with his friend and training partner for the race, Owen Green.
Michael was born on July 13, 1981 in Edina, Minnesota to Bob and Nancy Goerne.
Growing up in Edina, Michael was an avid athlete and outdoorsman since a young age. Summers were spent playing sports and spending time making memories at the family’s lake cabin on Lake Vermilion where Michael enjoyed fishing, wakeboarding, and wandering the great outdoors. In winter, he competed in downhill skiing and enjoying snowboard runs on the slopes. Michael was a Boy Scout, achieving the highest rank and honor of Eagle Scout in 1999.
In high school, Michael found, fell in love with, and dedicated himself to the game of lacrosse, founding the Edina High School Boys Lacrosse program at age 15. He was awarded the Michael Goerne Leadership Award for his excellence in leadership, an award that has been given each year since 2000 to an Edina varsity lacrosse team member who embodies his leadership skills and values.
Michael attended Marist College in New York and was the first Minnesotan to play Division 1 lacrosse. He graduated in 2004 with a degree in Business Administration and Finance and moved to Carbondale, Colorado. Michael was one of three individuals to establish Jaywalker Lodge, an addiction treatment center, and served as an integral member of their leadership team as their Business and Operations Manager for 10 years.
Upon arriving in Colorado, Michael developed, directed, and coached the Aspen High School Boys lacrosse team with the promise to take them to state. A promise he kept in 2015, earning him the Colorado 4A Coach of the Year award.
For the past three years, Michael served as the Business Manager for Balcomb & Green law firm in Glenwood Springs. He thrived creating a culture of success for the business and its partners.
Michael was a man of immense integrity and grace who led by example and saw each person’s true potential. His competitive spirit was never with others, except on the sports field, but with himself. He was a man who sought knowledge and understanding, accepted each person as they were, and was driven to be the best version of himself.
Michael exemplified living life to the fullest and he did so with a heart full of love. He shared that love with all who crossed his path. Michael’s involvement and impact in his community was unprecedented. Every person he met became a part of his family. His door and heart were always unquestionably open to those who needed help, love, and support.
His passions were endless and he enjoyed each season of life, from dirt bike racing, wakeboarding, and hiking to snowboarding, hockey, skiing, and anything else he could participate in. Michael was a force and the epitome of living in the moment. He traveled the world and never missed an opportunity for meeting new people or taking on new adventures.
Michael’s drive and discipline were unparalleled, which allowed him to accomplish so much in his shortened life. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a coach, a teammate, a mentor, an entrepreneur, a friend, a leader, but most importantly, Michael was and will continue to be an inspiration. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Michael is survived by his parents, Bob and Nancy Goerne; sister Katie (Jed) Holl; brother Kevin Goerne; uncles Terrance Goerne and Tim Sheahan; aunt Barbara Sheahan; cousins Brenda Marquardt, Alison Klesman, Jennifer Klesman, Erik Pallesen and Linda Pallesen; nieces and nephew Charlotte, Axel and Evelyn Holl.
Michael is preceded in death by grandparents Sather and Helen Goerne, James and Virginia Sheahan, uncle Paul Goerne, and aunt Barbara Goerne Pallesen.
A memorial service to celebrate Michael’s life will be held on Saturday, March 16 at 10 am at The Orchard in Carbondale, Colorado followed by a reception. Private family internment will be held in Minnesota.
The Goerne family extends a special thanks to the Crested Butte Search and Rescue Team along with the CareFlight of the Rockies for their admirable services.
Memorials preferred to the Aspen Lacrosse Club for the benefit of youth K-12 and adult programs at www.gofundme.com/michael-goerne-memorial or direct donations to the Crested Butte Search and Rescue Team or CareFlight of the Rockies.