Kenneth “Mike” Rouke


Mr. Kenneth Michael “Mike” Rouke, a resident of Franktown, passed away peacefully on April 27 at the age of 86, following a brave battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born and raised in Wilmington, Del., Mike graduated from Conrad High School and went on to earn an associate degree from Goldey Beacom College on a basketball scholarship. Proudly, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserves for eight years as a radarman.

In his younger years, Mike spent cherished summers at Broadkill Beach, built and raced stockcars, and even competed as a featherweight boxer. An outdoorsman at heart, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, activities he continued to relish after retiring from a successful 40-year career as a Nationwide insurance agent.

His love for the land began in the early 1970s, when he and his wife purchased a farm in Middletown, Del. For the next 35 years, alongside his wife, Patricia, he poured his heart into restoring the 1860s plantation. Mike was a self-taught farmer, tending over 100 acres of land on nights and weekends. Sadly, Patricia predeceased him in 2012.

Retirement brought him to his farm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, a place where he found peace, kind people, and a deep connection with nature. Mike also found time in retirement to serve as the senior warden of Hungars Episcopal Church and the Cure for several years here in Virginia.

Mike is survived by his daughters, Kelly Moore Rouke and Courtney Rouke Karres; his son-in-law, COL (R) Matthew Gus Karres; and three grandsons, 1LT (P) Gus Michael Karres, 2LT Garrett Matthew Karres, and MIDN James Broder Karres.

More than just a loving and loyal son, husband, father, and grandfather, Mike was a pillar of strength and support for his family. He was a protector, a nurturer, and a good soul who never spoke unkindly of others. He was a good listener with a tremendous sense of humor and a touch of mischievousness at times. Above all, Mike was deeply loved by his family and friends and will be forever missed.

A funeral service honoring Mike’s life and legacy will be held at Hungars Episcopal Church in Machipongo on Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m., with the Rev. Churchill Pinder officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. There will be a viewing in the church Parish Hall one hour prior to the service.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Attn: Membership Department, 6 Herndon Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403, or to the Eastern Shore SPCA, P.O. Box 164, Onley, VA 23418,

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements are by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

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