Condolence & Memory Journal

I didn't know George that well I am from Vicksburg and bought some Yamaha's from M&M Cycle Kalamazoo..
In more recent years I started buying parts from George. He was an Interesting Character I wish I would have known him when I was younger.. I would have loved to know more about Flat Track racing ect..
I stopped at the Shop last Summer and it was locked up. I did a search online could not find any info.. I did see that George had a Federal Fires Arms License.. Had I know that I would have bought guns from him too.
When I stopped Last Summer I wanted to tell George about a Motorcycle Museum in CT that busy classic Motorcycles.. George told me that he has 3 barns full of Motorcycles mostly he took them in as trade ins he told me.
These Classic Motorcycles I think will loose value when the people who lusted for them when they were young die off..
New England Kaplan,s Motorcycle Museum
R.I.P. George

Posted by Mark1 Hayward - Vicksburg, MI - Friend   July 20, 2020

Sue and the Danke family, sorry for your loss. I left Battle Creek for college in 1958 and then work out east. Sue lead the memorial service for my mom in 2006 and for my dad in 2012. When in town i would stop by the Danke motorcycle shop to visit Sue and get a hug. The last few years, my timing was bad for Sue visits. but George and I would talk. I miss him.

Posted by Dan Convis - Friendsville, MD - Friend   December 16, 2019

George Danke was like a 2nd father to me, adopting me as a high school shop rat in ~1959 and teaching me many things (principally taking the time necessary to do it right the first time) and employing me with flexible hours and good wages as I worked my way through college with minimal debt. Thank you, George! The hands-on experience gained through this elite, in reality, background enabled me to excel as a Mechanical Engineer once I got past the trepidation of actually applying as one!

Some other lessons learned from George:
- thinking for yourself: it only goes together one way (i.e., you can do it)
- materials savvy, such as aluminum brackets nearly always fatigue
- job well done pride (countless examples, George modeled it)
- troubleshooting (electrical systems, etc.)
- flexibility (change from Maico to Jawa-CZ without skipping a beat)
- resourcefulness (three high trailerloads from Detroit distributors, etc.)
- resilience (Hell yes, I'm sleeping: you don't think I drive like this when I'm awake, do you?)

George was always fair with me, albeit firm where needed. I've been greatly privileged to know and learn from him and fully expect my prayers for him will be rewarded by standing together with him as my believing brother faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24, 25) -It's not our goodness but His grace gift of righteousness (Rom 5.17) that makes it possible.
John 12.47, 48 (Deut. 18.18,19)
Acts 3.23; 2.33; 4.12; 10.36; 17.30; 13.38-39; 16.31
Mark 10.15; 14.62
Jer. 9.23-24; 23.6; 33.16, 25-26
Num. 14.21; Hab. 2.14
2 Cor. 2.14

Posted by David Killion - Ludington, MI - Friend   December 01, 2019

Bought my first motorcycle from George in 1972.He was a very good man,one of the best.He was the best man to buy parts from in this town he would get you the best price and made sure he did.Go into his store he was very proud of the news paper add and would show it every time with him and the slug hammer with him holding it up with one hand. And to this day thanks to George I still ride.At 67 years old.R.I.P Boss.

Posted by John Compton - Battle Creek, MI - Friend   November 30, 2019

Kim and Kit - Im so deeply sorry for your loss.

Posted by Laurie Reincke - Ceresco, MI - friend   November 30, 2019

George will be surely missed by many including me. I always enjoyed time spent with him and listening to his stories. He was a truly good guy. Rest In Peace George.

Posted by Ken Frost - Battle Creek, MI - acquaintance   November 30, 2019

George was my Father-in-Law for 22 years. I have fond memories from when my girls were young. He came to their Birthday parties, and other important life events throughout their lives. They loved going to his house to visit the horses and to ride their pony, Dusty. He will be missed.

Posted by April Danke - Battle Creek, MI - Family   November 27, 2019

Our sincere condolences to the family. Please reach out if there is anything we can do.

Posted by Members of VFW Post 4073, Marshall, MI - Marshall, MI - acquaintance   November 27, 2019

My first job was working at the motorcycle shop, selling parts in 1971....George helped me with my racing career, and inspired me. He was a very
intelligent, kind and thoughtful individual.. Thoughts and prayers to the
family, wish all well!

Posted by Randy Smith - Oklahoma City, OK - friend   November 27, 2019

We have know George for over 35 years, he was the grumpy man that would do anything for you and would get you the best price possible for quality stuff. It was fun to come to
The shop and see him and his many grandchildren that he would have helping out at the shop. I remember we had an old 1930s Harley Davidson motorcycle, I think it was a 250cc in our basement. I called George to see if wanted to buy it, he did and he carried it up and out of the basement by himself with little effort at the age of 65! He was a great member of the community and alway sponsoring someone/team. He will be deeply missed❤

Posted by Pam and Dale Hursley - East Leroy, MI - friend   November 27, 2019

My sincere condolences to the family. Bob and I were always grateful to George for helping us get through a rough time in our lives.

Posted by Karen Vanderveen - Battle Creek, MI - Family Friend   November 27, 2019

So sorry for your loss Renigers will truly miss George. My Dad and Geroge have been friends since my Dad was 14 year old kid. George tought my Dad alot over the years.

Posted by Michael Reniger - Marshall, MI - Family Friend   November 27, 2019

Sue and the Danke family, sorry for the loss of such an Icon not only to your family but also to the Battle Creek area and the nations motorcycle world. George Was always a good kind man to me and treated me like a friend.

Posted by Tim & Maggy Oesterreich - Battle creek, MI - Family Friend   November 27, 2019

We have truly lost an Icon in the field of motorcycles. I was inspired and blessed through friendship with George. He was passionate about passing down his wisdom to everyone. He would rather teach you how to fix something instead of selling you a replacement. A simple stop to get parts often turned into learning sessions that would leave you in awe of his talent and wisdom. George was also a great model of character. His discipline and work ethic were truly admirable. I am sad that we have lost a great teacher, but happy to have known George and know that he is in heaven telling stories and telling Jesus how to properly install a motor on a boat. Listen up disciples..George will tell you how to do it correctly. You will be missed.

Posted by Ted Densmore - Burlington, MI   November 27, 2019

It saddens me to learn of George's passing. He always quietly supported my Cereal City Motorcycle Rally, but never wanted any recognition for that support. He was a stellar gentlemen, that not a lot of people had the opportunity to come to know. But I look back fondly of one of my last conversations with him years ago! Rest in peace, George! You WILL be missed!

Posted by Grady Pierce - Winter Garden, FL - Friend   November 27, 2019

Bought my first motorcycle from George. Great and very knowledgeable guy. Prayers for All.

Posted by Randy Frost - Sidnaw, MI   November 26, 2019

Condolences to the family.

Posted by Debbie Burrows Haineault - Battle Creek, MI - neighbor   November 26, 2019


Take care George, pleasure knowing you.

Posted by Chris Köch - Battle Creek, MI - acquaintance   November 26, 2019