Michael J. Walter

Michael J. Walter

January 17, 1970-October 30, 2023

Michael James was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Jacqueline Cocolin, five minutes before his twin sister, Melynda Sue. He lived in Lincoln until the age of 15, then moved to Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, where he attended high school at Old Rochester Regional High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy, serving two years on the maiden voyage of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Upon honorable discharge he moved back to his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska where he attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a short time. 

In August of 1991, he was blessed with the most precious gift, his daughter Burgandie Coy, who he adored immensely. Michael’s love of fun and adventure was evident in the way he raised his daughter.  He imprinted this message of love, kindness and free spiritedness onto his daughter and those he encountered.

Throughout his life he was a friend to all, so willing to give anyone in need the shirt off his back. He was the most kind and fiercest of souls. Always itching for adventure, you’d find him cycling around town or coast to coast, and everywhere in between!  He had a vast knowledge of surviving the outdoors, including identifying edible plants, securing shelter, and caring for Mother Earth, as he did his loved ones. 

Michael was at peace outdoors, living off the land, often barefoot year-round. He had an affinity for nature, from chasing rainbows, to taking younger cousins on exciting quests, and picking endless flowers for his beloved daughter. When he wasn’t on his bike, his other passions were cooking, gardening, hiking, camping, fishing, and of course, making snow angels. 

He is survived by his mother, Jackie Cocolin (Ron); daughter, Burgandie Coy (Jeff VanEperen); twin sister, Melynda Pavao (Krystyna); nieces and nephews: Samuel and Margaux Berthiaume, Jack and Emerson Pavao; one grandnephew, Sawyer Berthiaume; several aunts and uncles; as well as his biological father, Ron Cottonwood. 

Celebration of Life: Saturday, November 4, 2023, 2:00 p.m. at Morrow Collision Center, 2801 N 83rd St., Lincoln, NE.


  • Carry Green Posted November 2, 2023 7:53 pm

    Michael, I have fond memories of you and I am thankful for knowing you. ❤️

  • Abby shaw Posted November 3, 2023 4:03 am

    My sympathies to u Melynda and family I met Mike in high school and he was a kind gentle soul of a person May he fly high and always be near the ones he loved and cherished He will forever be your Angel

  • Chris Zegers Posted November 3, 2023 9:03 pm

    Michael, I love you like a brother. You were my first best friend from the first day we met at the bus stop to Lakeview Elementary. Oh the memories: Watching Fridays, sleepovers, calling radio stations to request songs in junior high, punk rock shows, Jazz in June with you and Burgundie, skating Fast Ramps, Eat Concrete and the street, late night bike rides around Lincoln chasing shooting stars, Transworld trips, sneaking into Nebraska Football games and the locker room, working at Russ’s and The Nebraska State Fair, sharing a great bachelor pad/ bike house with you on 39th street, riding bikes in the snow and cold to see amazing Christmas lights and learning how to truly live your best life. .. He will be sorely and painfully missed. My sincere, and deepest sympathies. The pain and tears are a reflection of the joy and love that you shared. Peace and Love ~Chris

  • Ilda De Medeiros and Lídia Dias Posted November 4, 2023 8:13 am

    Melynda and Family, our sincere condolences for the loss of your dear brother Michael. We did not know Michael personally but can see from all the photos that he LOVED and was and IS LOVED! May he rest in peace and may you all find strength in each other during this difficult time of loss. With Love and support, ilda and Lidia.

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