OBITUARY

William "Dick" Richard Birkey

February 24, 1924June 23, 2018
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William R. “Dick” Birkey, 94, of Canton, IL, formerly of Springfield, passed away Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 3:03 pm at Graham Hospital in Canton.

Dick was born in Joliet, IL, February 24, 1924 the son of J. William and Edna (Thompson) Birkey. He married Connie Schaefer of Beardstown, IL at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Beardstown, January 28, 1951 and she preceded him in death, June 3, 2014. He was also preceded in death by his two daughters: Nancy in 1963 and Gloria in 2003.

Dick was a graduate of Joliet Township High School in 1942, Joliet Junior College in 1947 and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign in 1950. He was a veteran of W.W. II serving in the U.S. Air Force for 3 years.

He began his career joining CIPS in Beardstown in 1951 as a Lighting Engineer and then an Industrial Engineer for four years, before being promoted to District Manager in Canton. He was then named Rate Supervisor in Springfield in 1968. Dick again earned a promotion to Manager of the Rates and Research Department in 1972 and in 1980 when he was named Manager of General Services, serving until his retirement in 1987.

Dick served in various capacities with in his community and Church. While living in Canton, he was elected to the District 66 board of Education, served as President of the Canton Rotary Club, on the Board of directors of the Canton YMCA, President of the Association of Commerce and Industry and as a member of the Fulton County Red Cross Board. After he and Connie moved to Springfield, he was an active member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, serving as an Elder for 10 years, served a Secretary of the congregation, usher and was a member of the Seekers Bible class. He also served on the board of the Oaks Neighborhood Association for 10 years.

He was a dedicated lifelong Chicago Cubs and Bears fan and University of Illinois Basketball and Football fan. An avid golfer, he made a hole-in-one 3 times in his lifetime, all at Pasfield Golf Course in Springfield with his golfing buddies.

Dick and Connie moved back to Canton in 2009 to be near his son, Rick and daughter-in-law Jeannie. They attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Canton.

He is survived by his son Rick (Jeannie) Birkey of Canton, his grandson Shae (Katie) Birkey, 2 great grandsons, Brooks and Jens all of Washington, IL, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Visitation: The Birkey family will receive friends and family at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church 2645 Old Jacksonville Rd. Springfield, IL on Friday June 29, 2018 from 9:30 am until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 am. Rev. Joshua T. Traxel will officiate. Burial will follow in Oak Ridge Cemetery where military honors will be conducted by the U.S. Air Force.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and School, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, 57 Country Place, Springfield, IL 62703 or the Alzheimer’s Association 2309 W. White Oaks Dr. Suite E, Springfield, IL 62704

Online condolences may be shared at www.bischfuneralhome.com Arrangements are under the care of Bisch Funeral Home West 217-544-5424

  • FAMILY

  • J. William Birkey, Father
  • Edna Birkey, Mother
  • Constance L. "Connie" Birkey, Wife
  • Nancy Birkey, Daughter
  • Gloria Birkey, Daughter
  • Richard "Rick" (Jeannie) Birkey, Son
  • Shae (Katie) Birkey, Grandson
  • Brooks Birkey, Great Grandson
  • Jens Birkey, Great Grandson
  • Donald Birkey, Brother
  • There are several nieces, nephews and cousins.
  • DONATIONS

  • Our Savior's Lutheran Church
  • Land of Lincoln Honor Flight
  • Alzheimers Association

Services

  • Visitation Friday, June 29, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, June 29, 2018
REMEMBERING

William "Dick" Richard Birkey

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Martha Fisher Lawler

June 29, 2018

I was blessed to have been Uncle Dick and Aunt Connie's niece. Growing up, I remember thinking of them as lovebirds. They seemed to be each other's very best friend. Not trying to assign a level of perfection to them, as that doesn't exists on earth, but they were positive, fun loving, kind, gracious, and full of mercy. They were people of deep faith, and leaned on that faith daily, but especially during the most trying times of their lives, when they lost their dear daughters, Nancy Jo and Gloria Jean. They grieved deeply, trusted Jesus to bring them through, and ultimately kept their precious memories in their hearts. They made the very best of their lives, and remained a positive, loving couple. Beautiful role models for us all. Now they have both heard, "Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servent".
Ever grateful to have been your niece, uncle Dick and Aunt Connie, will always love you...

James Spencer

June 27, 2018

Rick and family, I am saddened to hear of Dick's passing. You were blessed with wonderful parents Rick and as you are well aware, your father was widely respected and admired. I am honored to have known him. It was nice to visit with you on my recent stay in Canton.

Max Scott

June 27, 2018

Rick & family: So sorry to hear about your father’s passing. I knew him the last nine years after they moved back to Canton, and got to play golf with him once. Also visited with him often at the YMCA in the early morning. What a wonderful, friendly, sincere gentleman. America needs more men like Dick Birkey. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

William R. “Dick” Birkey, 94, of Canton, IL, formerly of Springfield, passed away Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 3:03 pm at Graham Hospital in Canton.
Dick was born in Joliet, IL, February 24, 1924 the son of J. William and Edna (Thompson) Birkey. He married Connie Schaefer of Beardstown, IL at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Beardstown, January 28, 1951 and she preceded him in death, June 3, 2014. He was also preceded in death by his two daughters: Nancy in 1963 and Gloria in 2003.

Dick was a graduate of Joliet Township High School in 1942, Joliet Junior College in 1947 and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign in 1950. He was a veteran of W.W. II serving in the U.S. Air Force for 3 years.

He began his career joining CIPS in Beardstown in 1951 as a Lighting Engineer and then an Industrial Engineer for four years, before being promoted to District Manager in Canton. He was then named Rate Supervisor in Springfield in 1968. Dick again earned a promotion to Manager of the Rates and Research Department in 1972 and in 1980 when he was named Manager of General Services, serving until his retirement in 1987.

Dick served in various capacities with in his community and Church. While living in Canton, he was elected to the District 66 board of Education, served as President of the Canton Rotary Club, on the Board of directors of the Canton YMCA, President of the Association of Commerce and Industry and as a member of the Fulton County Red Cross Board. After he and Connie moved to Springfield, he was an active member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, serving as an Elder for 10 years, served a Secretary of the congregation, usher and was a member of the Seekers Bible class. He also served on the board of the Oaks Neighborhood Association for 10 years.

He was a dedicated lifelong Chicago Cubs and Bears fan and University of Illinois Basketball and Football fan. An avid golfer, he made a hole-in-one 3 times in his lifetime, all at Pasfield Golf Course in Springfield with his golfing buddies.

Dick and Connie moved back to Canton in 2009 to be near his son, Rick and daughter-in-law Jeannie. They attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Canton.

He is survived by his son Rick (Jeannie) Birkey of Canton, his grandson Shae (Katie) Birkey, 2 great grandsons, Brooks and Jens all of Washington, IL, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Visitation: The Birkey family will receive friends and family at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church 2645 Old Jacksonville Rd. Springfield, IL on Friday June 29, 2018 from 9:30 am until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 am. Rev. Joshua T. Traxel will officiate. Burial will follow in Oak Ridge Cemetery where military honors will be conducted by the U.S. Air Force.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and School, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, 57 Country Place, Springfield, IL 62703 or the Alzheimer’s Association 2309 W. White Oaks Dr. Suite E, Springfield, IL 62704

Online condolences may be shared at www.bischfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are under the care of Bisch Funeral Home West 217-544-5424