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Born: Jan 28, 1941

Date of Passing: May 17, 2003

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GERALD (BUTCH) BIRCH With great sadness, his family announces his death on Saturday, May 17 in Birtle & District Hospital. Gerald was born January 28, 1941, the fourth child of F.T. (Tom) and Claudine Birch in a family of six boys and one girl. He grew up on the family farm at Birnie and attended school at Tobarmore, Birnie and Eden. In 1962, he arrived by bus in Birtle to work with the Highways Department where he was employed until his retirement in 1998. In 1965, he married his teenage sweetheart, Nancy (Henton). Two daughters, Colleen and Barbara were born and were the joy of his life. Granddaughter Kylie was the apple of Grampas eye and he did so want to welcome a second grandchild in August. He was very proud to have served as Fire Chief for the Town and RM of Birtle and as Ambulance Coordinator for the Birtle & District Ambulance Service. He was a Lions member, a town councillor, a baseball coach, a golfer, an avid curler, a hockey and baseball fan, a gardener, a fisherman, a builder, a camper, a dancer. His volunteer work in his community won him the Lieutenant Governors Award for volunteerism in the Parkland Region presented at a reception in Winnipeg in April. Due to ill health, Gerald was unable to attend the ceremonies so his family accepted in his place. The Town of Birtle also presented him with its Volunteer Award for 2003. He was both humbled and proud to receive such honours but derived great pleasure and satisfaction from community service. Gerald was predeceased by his mother and father; brothers, Art, Bruce and Keith; sister-in-law Charlotte Birch and brother-in-law Terry Henton. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Nancy; daughter Colleen (Talbot) son-in-law Mark; and "perfect" granddaughter Kylie of Dauphin, MB; daughter Barbara in Birtle; as well as sister Lois Seddon (Frank) brothers, Ross (Madeline) and Don (Dianne) sisters-in-law, Sharon Birch, Penny Birch and Eileen Henton. A celebration of Geralds life was held May 24 in the Birtle United Church with Rev. Dwight Rutherford officiating. Colleen and Barbara composed and read the eulogy for their dad. Pallbearers were Gary Dimond, Kevin Hickman, Glenn Hodgson, Gary Bradshaw, Phil Huberdeau and Bob Barteaux. Interment followed in Birtle Cemetery. If friends so wish, donations may be made to CancerCare Manitoba, the Birtle Fire Department or the Palliative Care Unit of BirtleDistrict Hospital, Birtle, MB R0M 0C0. Braendle-Bruce Funeral Service was in charge of arrangements.

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As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 17, 2003

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