BIRCH, GEORGE WILLIAM VINCENT - It is with great sadness we announce the passing of George William Vincent Birch, age 87, on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 after fighting a courageous battle with lung cancer. George was born in Point Anne Ontario on October 28th 1925, the son of the late Charles and Mary Jane (Oakley) Birch. George is survived by his loving family including Jean, his devoted wife of 67 years; his children Donald Birch (Ann Lee) of Ottawa, Debra Birch (LeRoy Dykeman) of Upper Kingsclear, James Birch (Kathy) of Fredericton, Steven Birch (Barb Paul) of Upper Kingsclear; grandchildren Preston Birch, Kristina Birch (Jeremy Foss), Megan Birch, Kate Harrison (Lee Whitter), Stephen Harrison, Gregory Harrison (Leah Case), and their father Grant Harrison ; step grandchildren Patrick Lahaie (Crystal), Jared Lahaie; great-grandson Preston Foss; step great-grandchildren Colby Bishop, Jocelyn and Mathieu Lahaie; sister Betty Antonio of Orillia Ontario; brother Tom Birch (Jean) of Woodstock Ontario; sister-in-law Teresa Birch of Peterborough Ontario; sister-in-law Loretta Birch of Fredericton; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to his parents, George was predeceased by brothers, Jack Birch and Charles Birch, and sisters, Noreen Myers and Mavis Lee. George spent his early years growing up in Lakefield Ontario. He was an avid athlete, playing hockey and football, water-skiing and boxing. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1944 serving for 2 years. He then studied at the Canadian School of Embalming and worked for 3 years in the funeral business. In 1948 he began working at Peterborough Canoe Company, starting as a boat-builder’s helper and progressed to Sales Manager. In 1955 at the age of 30, George was given the position of Vice President and General Manager of the Chestnut Canoe Company in Fredericton. He was later appointed President and stayed with the company until it was sold in 1978. Shortly later, he established a career in Real Estate and in 1982 became co-owner of Regal Realty Limited, where he continued to work into his mid-eighties. George was active in several volunteer roles over the years, including Sunday school teacher, hockey coach, member of the I.O.O.F., director for the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, member of the Fredericton Rotary Club, director for the YMCA, chairman of Camp Magaguadavic and president of the Children’s Aid Society. George loved animals especially his horses, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening. In his later years his joy came from spending time with his family and at his seaside cottage in Nova Scotia. George was an outstanding businessman who had a reputation and work ethic that was very highly respected in the community. He was known for his wonderful generosity, his great sense of humor, and his gentle and kind nature with everyone he met.
Visitation will take place at McAdam’s Funeral Home, 160 York Street on Friday, November 16th, 2012 from 7 to 9 PM. A memorial service will take place at McAdam’s Funeral Home on Saturday, November 17th, 2012 at 1:00 PM, with Archdeacon John Sharpe officiating. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, DECH Palliative Care or any charity of the donor’s choice and would be greatly appreciated by the family. On-line condolences may be made at www.mcadamsfh.com