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S: Norman Bruce Birch July 6, 1929 - September 1, 2011

BC: Norman Bruce Birch July 6, 1929 - September 1,2011

1: Norman Bruce Birch July 6, 1934 - September 1, 2011 | "After all, what is your hurry?"

4: Grandpa was/is a great example to me. He lived and struggled through life just like the rest of us but knew what his priorities were and kept to them. He was respected and loved by those around him. It always was a special treat to have him come and visit us in Florida. I knew he really cared about me. When he would go out of his way to get me something I needed. I remember wanting some tool or something for a project I was working on and I remember him getting that for me and respecting me, even though in hindsight it was probably something that was really a want and not a need. It meant a lot to me that he showed that interest. He gave me the best complements that really built me up and made me feel good. Not realizing things about myself that I should be proud of because they were true. He was always kind and respectful. I knew him for his heart and kindness. He really was a wonderful presence to have around. He was always building up rather than tearing down. I love him for that -- Rhett Fisher | The last time I saw Grandpa at Aunt Jenie's, we started having a good chat about his biography and I was able to ask him personally about every one of the stories. It was just a great experience to be able to get the first-person account about all those stories and see his reaction and actual emotions for them. Talking with him about his time in the army and when he one up'd the soldiers in the shooting contest really was the best one. He really did get a kick out of that and it seemed like he loved talking with me about it. I didn't really think about it while I was there, but as we were there, there was something in the look of eyes or maybe it was the conversation that told me that it was the last time I would see him. It seemed almost like he knew it too, so when I received the news from Ammon that he had passed away, I wasn't surprised. Ammon had the same prompting. But that was a great time I got to spend with Grandpa. He gave me valuable mission advice and I'm glad I was privileged to be able to have that last conversation with him. -- Alex Fisher

5: My last memories of dad are when he came down for Alex's Eagle and Elder setting apart and college farewell party. It was really a hassle to get it all planned, especially the Elder setting apart. I had to have a high counselor from our stake there for the setting apart and it all had to be timed just right. I almost decided to just do it at church with the men there but I decided it was important to have his grandfather there. Dad came down for Alex even though he was obviously hurting from his knee problem. Shelly told me that Dad really felt it was important to come down and visit. I offered to let them pass on the trip, knowing it was a big sacrifice for everyone involved. Dad, Mom, Shelly and the Hunter's came over for Alex's celebration. We got him set apart as an Elder and celebrated his Eagle. It was a nice ceremony. I didn't feel that Alex really got to spend enough time with Grandpa though and felt like he needed to visit with him some more. I was driving over to Jeni's to spend some time with the parents; Alex didn't really want to go because he was doing something with Ammon. I told him he could come later with Ammon and Polethe who were dropping by on their way home. He drove over with them and got to spend about 3 hours talking with grandpa. I was playing cards with the girls so I didn't really hear what they talked about. Shelly and Jenie mentioned that it was weird he spent that entire time talking with Grandpa mostly about Grandpa's mission. Alex knew Dad's book inside and out and liked to ask him about things in it. I also spent some time with Dad showing him and talking about my book project which he really liked and was very encouraging about, as he always was on things like that. Dad really wanted someone to make it big in our family through some type of entrepreneurship. He loved business and the potential of it. He gave me a big hug when we left and told me how much he loved me and was proud of me. On the drive home, I told Alex that 3 hours is a long time to drive to spend time with someone, but you never know when or if you will get to see Grandpa again. Little did we know that would be our last time for a long time. I know it was one of those tender mercies of the Lord. We would have regretted not getting to spend that time with Dad if we both hadn't of taken that time to do that. The other day I was working on my book project, trying to get everything cleaned up and finished for like the hundredth time. I was feeling a little frustrated and doubtful as to its potential for success. I got one of those little whispers that I know came from Dad because it left me with a warm feeling for a long time afterwards. He told me, "Stacey, it is good." I don't know if anything will come of it, but it gave me some encouragement I needed at that moment to keep working on it. Dad always gave me the feeling that I could be or do anything . -- -- Stacey Fisher | Here is what I learned from Grandpa without him knowing that he was teaching me. I did not spend nearly as much time with him as the rest of the family, but I learned as much as anyone. Grandpa had a way of communicating with people that was really special. He was so gifted with his ability to make everyone he spoke with feel special and important. I always try to talk to people like he did. I learned that a kind word can be more valuable than any amount of money. Grandpa was a fun person to be around. He was always positive and happy. It was always entertaining to go places and do things with him. I have known a lot of old people and none of them were fun to be around. They are boring and annoying. Grandpa was never boring. That is very impressive for an old guy! When I am with other people I try to be fun and not boring. It makes every event fun and memorable. An outing with Grandpa was always memorable. Grandpa was a hard worker. I remember when Grandpa was in the canning business. I went with him a few times on his rounds to fill the can machines. I thought it was great fun at the time; going around pulling all those coins out of the machines and filling them with drinks. Now I look back and think what hard work it must have been to keep up with all of that. He worked his whole life to provide for his family and never got rich. He did not seek after wealth or fame. He only wanted his family to be happy and have what they needed to grow and be successful. I learned from his example that hard work is important, but you need to be working hard for the right reasons. I love and admire Grandpa and will miss him. -- Ammon Fisher

6: I only knew grandpa for about a year, but the first time I met him he told me that I was beautiful and that he loved me. He was so nice and kind and really funny. Last December when we went to visit him and grandma he told me that it had not snowed in a long time but he knew I was coming so he made it snow just for me. He was always full of nice things to say to people. I remember later that evening we were sitting in his living room and he looked over at Stacey and he just said to her, "Stacey you look so pretty sitting there". Stacey smiled and said "Daadd" and he said, "You do, you look so pretty." That is the type of person he was -- loving, caring, sweet, funny and playful. Always ready to tell you something nice. I may have only known him for a little over a year, but I did love him very much. I am so grateful to have met him and to have felt that special glow that you feel when you are around him. -- Polethe Fisher | When I think of my Father, many things come to mind and I know that he has helped shape the person that I have and hope to become in a lot of ways. I know that we both share the love a good thriller read and are both voracious readers. Dad for years has been my major source of books for as long as I can remember -- he has always given me books to read along with a narrative of what he thinks I will like about it. We have similar taste in books and I can remember sharing and talking about different authors and books for years with him. So much so that one day after Dad and I were talking about a particular book, Callie was listening to us talk and while we were talking Callie asked if Dad was my "book Buddy". I had to laugh at that but then realized that yes, Dad was in fact very much my "Book Buddy". I have also learned from my father that always ask people about themselves. People love to talk about themselves and if you ask about them and the people around them, they will always leave the conversation feeling like it was a good conversation. Along with the theory of talking about themselves I have always noticed that my Dad would freely compliment those around him. In general after a conversation with Dad, most people were complimented and were able to talk about themselves. Who wouldn't feel better after that conversation with Dad. One of my favorite things about my Dad is that he always knew what your favorite candy was at any particular moment and for no apparent reason you would find that candy or treat picked up for you and left on your bed or given to you at any given random time. It wasn't so much the treat that was the big deal but the fact that he took the time to remember what you liked and took the time to pick it up for you. Along with the candy, I always knew that he would have a stash somewhere that would be available to me -- usually in his Celestial Kingdom. I also loved that he would bring church treats every now and then which made church time seem shorter somehow. I have always been amused that since we usually had three floors in our home, he would always refer to the place that he made hiss bode as the "Celestial Kingdom" and that he was the "King". When we would find him

7: in his room he would say that we were visiting him in the "Celestial Kingdom". The nickname of the "King" definitely stuck -- because you did feel that when you were around him, you were around the "King". He carried, talked and acted very much like his nickname. As long as I can remember or think, I have always observed the dedication and firm testimony that my Dad has had when it comes to the gospel. I knew that whatever job, calling or service that he was performing was being done in an excellent manner and that it was also done with creativity, humor and love. He has been such a good example on how to serve in the church when I was able to have church callings. I have always strived to live the gospel as he had with no reservations, no half hearted attempts and with full dedication to our Savior and to the work that needs to be accomplished. I have also appreciated that Dad would always mention that he was on the "cutting edge" when it came to tidbits, news and general information. This was true. I could always be entertained and informed on all subjects of the world with my Father -- which made him very interesting to talk to at all times. Dad was a good listener, a wise counselor and someone that I could trust to confide my thoughts and worries to. I have always felt better after I have talked to him and felt like I could tackle whatever may have arisen in life. He has been able to give sound advice and always left me with a positive spin on what I may have perceived as a problem and it has encouraged me to carry on. I have been grateful that he has nurtured me in whatever areas of my life I wanted to grow. Early on, he noticed that I enjoyed sports and from that point on sacrificed time and money to make sure that I would have opportunity to go as far as I could with sports. I always felt his support and knew that he would be at every game and I could even count on him showing up to watch my practices. One time I remember my team member saying, "Who is that man looking inside the window at the gym?" Looking up I realized it was my Father watching me. I was so thankful for a father that not only showed up to all my games, but also just loved to watch me practice. I loved that Dad had a fun kid side to him -- whether it was the fact that he would let us turn our house into a haunted house and also play the prominent role of the wicked witch (with the best witch laugh I have ever heard) or driving us around to pick up voting signs so that we could sign people's yards or riding on the grocery cart in the parking lot. He played kickball, basketball, golf or whatever the game was and I knew that he was willing and ready to have fun and play with us at any time. Dad loved having 10 children and loved being a "Dad". He was extremely proud of us and our accomplishments. It was later in his life that I would observe Dad whenever we were together watching his children and grandchildren laughing and talking and enjoying bring around each other. The look on his face was always one of immense pride and happiness. He was always so happy that the greatest gift that he and my mother could give us was each other and he was proud of the fact that we not only loved each other, but we were glad to be around each other and be each other's best friends. Dad was an excellent teacher, counselor, cheerleader, friend and example of a Father. He someone that the Lord graciously gave to me to teach me and to watch and pattern my life after. I have been so blessed by both of my parent's examples and unconditional love. I am grateful for the knowledge that I know that my earthly father as well as my Heavenly Father continues to watch over me, pray for me and love me. -- Terri Farley | It is so hard to put into words the impact of someone like Dad on your life. Suffice it to say that I always felt loved and fully accepted by my father. I always felt his 100% support and had the absolute certainty that he believed in me and felt I could do anything I wanted to. I was able to live with Dad the longest and felt such a privilege and an honor to do so. I loved going on errands with him. He was a magnet wherever he went -- always attracting people with his good humor and sensitivity. In some ways Dad was very shy and I understood that side of him completely. He was like a whole stadium of cheering fans for me. He never had a word of discouragement for me and always told all of his daughters how beautiful they were. He completely loved mom and anytime I was with him, she and her happiness was his prominent goal and thought process. Let's face it, he's a hard act to follow. I really miss him. -- Shelly

9: I had no idea that your father had passed. Oh, Lord, what a great man he was. A great, great Priesthood leader, best by far of my entire life. He set an example of total preparation and understanding of people and programs, but without himself every being programmatic. I picked up on it instantly, and tried to model myself after him, and figured I would have the chance to run into such greats my whole life -- man, was I naive! Your Dad was one in a million, Just this week I was thinking about how he chided another stake officer for assuming that a bishopric counselor could blithely be assigned something extra, "because bishopric counselors aren't really doing anything, anyway." Your Dad objected to that immediately, set the guy straight and I loved it. You were very blessed with respect to your father, but I know you know that. And the last time I saw yourDad in the Alpharetta Ward building, I told him all this, so no regrets there either. I hope you are doing okay with your own loss. -- Ken Kuykendahl

12: I loved to go over to papa's house and play cars with him. He would always tell me, "Make sure there's enough gas in those cars." I also loved going to the Farmer's Market with papa. -- Addison Freeman | After all what is your hurry? -- A motto my father truly put to heart -- though it often manifested itself when we were always the last ones to be picked up from the ball field, church, work or school; the methodical way my father would put together his dinner plate making him the last one to the table -- full of people eating -- and would exclaim, "You kids go ahead. Don't wait for me! OR his (2) hour baths where he would come out a bright, red prune with steam coming off him. After all what is your hurry? -- The phrase was more aptly applied to his treatment of those around him. The Savior took the time to minister one on one to those around him -- as did my father. A quality I admired about him. When my father spoke with you, he made you feel like you were the most important person in the room -- and he always felt it was important to leave a person better than he found them. Except the times you got a lecture from him, which meant that you probably deserved it and even then, you left with having learned something important. -- Julie Freeman | I miss papa. -- Jack Freeman

14: It's hard to convey all of the great experiences I've had with grandpa throughout the years. Although I have so many great memories, my favorite times were when he would come and see me play football. When he came to watch, I always felt energized and was able to play with an "edge" knowing the KING was on my side cheering. Every time I finished the game he always had the perfect advice I needed to get better and improve my playing. The week that Grandpa passed away was the week that happened to be the biggest game in Lambert history, playing the previous years state champions, Chattahoochie -- in their home stadium. I couldn't imagine how I was going to play the biggest game of the year under such terrible circumstances. Although I felt like I couldn't play, I knew that Grandpa would have wanted me to try my hardest. For that night, I went in with a fire burning and a purpose in mind. In that game I didn't play alone. I felt his presence with me every single down that night. In the most important game of the season I had the best game of my football career with 2.4 sacks and our team completely dominated with a 24-7 victory. I credit that win to Grandpa and for all of the years of love and support he gave me throughout my entire life. I love and miss him so much but am truly grateful fore the fact that I will see and live with him again. -- Grant Farley | I remember many memories of grandpa that I hold close, but the one I reflect on was one night in the summer of 2011 when I was home from work and exhausted. I had just worked an 11 hour shift. It was a day at work that I wished I could forget and was frustrated to say the least. I walked in the door and saw grandpa in the kitchen. I wanted to just go straight to bed. Grandpa saw me as he stool in the kitchen and said, "There's the chicken man". I laughed half heartedly and grandpa knowing how I felt from my body language quickly walked over and hugged me and in an entirely different tone he told me that he loved me and that he wanted me to know that I could do anything I wanted to do with my time here on earth. Then he added, "You can have any life." We ended up talking for an hour as the time flew. I was always grateful for his counsel and advice. I loved talking with grandpa and hearing his stories and thoughts. I will miss those moments the most and the simple conversations. Grandpa always supported me and showed his love when I needed it the most. Grandpa knew what to say exactly when I needed to hear it and this simple memory is just an example that I always reflect on. -- Spencer Farley | Papa was an amazing man. I have so many memories and milestones shared with him throughout my childhood and growing years. Often times I think about him at my sporting events from 5 years old to finishing high school. Many times I would look up in the stands at a track meet or basketball game and there he would be, the King, cheering me on. He always knew how to make me feel special. With all of the grandchildren he had, it showed a very Christlike characteristic making each of us feel handsome or beautiful, loved and worth it! His listening ear talked me through many situations without really saying much back. His small compliments he gave as I walked through the door made my heart so warm. These are the things that come to mind when I think about my grandfather. For me, papa's funeral was the most peaceful and clear day I've ever had. There was a spirit there that allowed love to continually pour onto each of us. Something about that day just made sense to me. His legacy of family, kindness, compassion and love was confirmed to me that day. I know the King is still rooting me on from the stands! -- Ashley Farley

15: What always stuck out most to me was how many people wanted to be around grandpa. There were always people trying to get some face time with "The King" and he seemed to find time for everyone of them. Some of my favorite memories with grandpa were when I went up to his loft and we would sit and watch the Braves together. There was no substitute for one on one time with grandpa. It didn't really matter what we talked about because I was happy that we were spending time together, just the two of us. I also loved golfing with grandpa. Every bad shot he made was quickly blamed on his lack of toes and he loved telling the story of how he won a golf tournament with only a few clubs in his bag. I never did figure out how many clubs he had because when I was younger he only had about five, but the last time we went golfing he had accomplished the same feat with only two. He was always encouraging on the golf course and based on some of our rounds, we needed it. Anytime you would hit a shot in the general direction of the hole he would always follow up with a "that'll play". I think the most remarkable thing about grandpa was that in all the times I saw him, I don't ever remember him having a bad day. He was so consistent in that regard. No matter what was going on around him he seemed to take it in stride. You could always count on grandpa for a joke or story. In fact, you could always count on grandpa for anything. He was a rock in so many ways. He was consistently there for people and for that he will be constantly missed. -- Chase Farley

16: Working out of my home, he would always try to sneak up on me with my back to the door while working on the computer. I always recognized his footsteps though. He'd sit down in the seat by the window, adjacent to my desk and often having to remove things in it, to talk a few minutes. Often he'd be on his way to do errands and Shelly would give him a lunch order to bring back to us. Never once did he make it seem like a hassle. I always enjoyed our paths crossing at the grocery store, one of the rare pleasures of living so close to my parents. In my 3-minute talk during the funeral I spoke about searching the attributes I loved in my Heavenly Father that were mirrored in my earthly father. I talked about the "little things" that may matter to no one else but me, but that my Heavenly Father knew how much it would mean to me to have those things occur or be granted. That same quality existed in dad and it was just one of many things I loved about him. He sought the things that were of value to the individual and found ways to make those happen. I remember when I was a young adult serving in YW's. I was carrying on a conversation with a peer of my parents who we grew up with as children and whom herself had quite a large family. She asked about my father being able to attend events of his children because he traveled during the week and there were so many of us. I told her that I don't recall very many activities, especially sports where he wasn't in attendance. She indicated that there was no way he could have been at all the activities I was proposing. I was offended by her remark thinking she didn't know my dad and how supportive he was of children -- no matter what our age. In actuality she was probably right. But in my mind, I only remembered those where he was in attendance. I guess the others didn't mean as much without my dad being there and those had faded from my memory. For each baby I carried, I always asked dad to give me a father's blessing during the process. On Sunday, August 26, 2011 he did the same for the one I was carrying due Jan. 2, 2012. I had purchased a small tape recorder a few years ago to record blessings that Tom gave to the kids so it would make it easier to translate them word for word. I had remembered to bring it as well for my Father's blessing. Often during the blessing dad would say a few lines about the spirit that would be coming to our home -- never giving away any gender information in the process. This time he spent quite a bit of time on this little spirit and the talents and abilities it would be bringing to help with the appearance of the Savior. As a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder, dad was able to perform that service and as a father he loved the opportunity. His hands were a bit heavy on my head as I knew he was in quite a bit of pain with his knees and his upcoming surgery that would occur 8 days later. The blessing was followed by his big hugs between a father and a daughter and expressions of love and appreciation for each other. Back to back business trips took me away seven days later, the day before his surgery. I was in San Diego for an opening and getting ready to head to the Chick-fil-A restaurant on Thursday, September 1 at 4:30am California time. I received a call from home indicating that dad had passed in his sleep. About as far away from home as I could be, by myself and trying to deal with the shock of the call. No early flights were available to speed up the process in getting home to family. I struggled for which way to turn for comfort. The temple was close by but wouldn't be open in time before my flight departed. Then a thought filled my mind. Something that both dad and I enjoyed, taking a long, leisurely bath with a good book, snack and tall glass of water. So in dad's honor and because he could no longer do it himself, I took a long hot bath and thought about how blessed I was to have the father I had. By all means he wasn't perfect, but he was a perfectly good father to me. -- Cindi Pickett

17: Whenever I had to go to the doctor for my rash, grandpa would always take me. The doctor I go to for my rash was the same doctor Grandpa went to for his cancer. Grandpa would always talk to the doctor and the people there. After my rash appointment, he would get his cancer off. But I would always go to the lobby and not watch him. My rash doctor would give me a quarter to get a sticker at a machine. After that we would always go to Chick-fil-A and I would always get a "cookies n'cream" milkshake with a Chick-fil-A sandwich with no pickles. He would always get a Chick-fil-A sandwich and a chocolate milk shake. I miss grandpa taking me to the store with him when we ran errands and sometimes we'd go to the Dollar Store or go to the bank to get money. -- James Pickett | When I was younger I had 2 loose teeth. one of them was really wiggly and the other one wasn't that wiggly. I told papa that I had two loose teeth. And he said,"Here let me take a look." I shook my head and said, "No your going to pull them out." And he was like,"No I just want to see it. Let me just see how wiggly it is." So I made him pinky swear that he wouldn't pull them out. I showed him both of them and he wiggled each one. Then he asked me where the wiggly one was. I showed him and the two teeth were together there was just one tooth that was separating them. He pulled on one of the teeth and it was the one that wasn't that wiggly. I remember it hurt so bad. I was like,"You pinky swore you wouldn't pull on one." From that day on NO ONE let papa see their teeth. -- Sadie Pickett | I loved the stories that Grandpa would tell when we would eat at his house, especially when he would tell of his mission. I especially liked when he would tell of Minnie-Wounded-in-the-Face. I also liked when he would bring a pleasant attitude and jokes in conversation and in our get-togethers. Like when he would joke about other people or when he was in church messing up the hymns. Also, when we went deep sea fishing in Alaska, Grandpa always caught the weirdest fish or fish that weren't in season. I love grandpa and I can't wait to see him again someday. -- Grey Pickett

19: ---Sheryl Marzzarella

20: What an inspiring funeral service ! I have thought about the messages shared for days now. Thank you for your wisdom shared. I was truly affected for good by attending your Dad's funeral. I hope you are all aware of the great impact your family has had and will continue to have on others. -- Amy (Gibson) Gregerson

21: My mother sent me a copy of the funeral service program. I was deeply saddened to hear the news. Your father looked amazing when I saw him last. As always, he had love in his eyes and a cheery disposition. It is no doubt the Lord was desperate for him to return home. My fondest memories are of his permanent smile and unconditional love for all. He was there for me when I went through my my most difficult years. Puberty and rebellion were only one of my early challenges in life, as you might remember. As my Bishop, I was never reprimanded or condemned. Only words of concern and love passed his lips. He was easy to be around and I felt the spirit in your home every time I wast there. He has left so many fond memories and will be greatly missed. -- Dawn (Oakley) Diffin

22: Tubing as a family in North Georgia -- one of our favorite activities -- 1987

23: Papa giving Katie & Emily a ride on the handtruck.

24: I'm very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. He was a wonderful and remarkable man. We loved him and appreciated what a great Bishop he was. I know Wendy will be sorry to hear of his passing. She just loved your whole family. I'm sure the funeral service was wonderful. Please give your mother our warmest greeting from Vicki and myself. May the Lord bless you. -- Bill & Vicki Walker

26: 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

27: Alaska Trip, 2009 | I have known your family since the 1970's and Brother Birch was a heck of a man! He honored all of his callings, as father and husband, and also was a great encourager for youth, neighbors and friends. He had the best sense of humor and that is what I will miss most. There are so many of you and he would want all of you to love on each other through this grief process. I wish and pray for comfort and peace and healing for all of you. What a great legacy he has left behind. You are loved. -- Jane (Foster) Jones | To a dear family whom we cherish as friends forever. We pray that Heavenly Father will bless you with his loving care during this time of your loved one's passing. He will forever be our "Bishop Birch" whom we loved, enjoyed his relationship and was in awe of him and your entire family. Surely you shall miss his presence but know that he is with you still and you will be together for eternity. What a plan! Keep the fond memories and the faith. Love you all more than you know. -- Linda & Richard Horn

28: The one thing I loved most about him is how he always told me to do my best to climb the highest and be the best mountain climber. He always encouraged me to do the things that would help me. He only thought of other people and how he could help them and I love him for that. -- Nicholas Hunter | I loved Papa so much and will miss him. I liked it when Papa and I played together. One of my favorite things to do was when we had pillow fights together. I always won the pillow fights with Papa. Another fun thing we did was throw building blocks at each other. He had a good arm. Finally I liked when Papa and I threw balls at each other and I won even when he threw a ball one time at my face. I love Papa. --Kate Hunter

29: When grandpa came down to visit he would say "Ellie, what sport are you playing?" He loved that I was sporty! -- Ellie Hunter | I loved climbing up on his lap and laying on his tummy. -- Kate Hunter | Having an amazing dad has given me an opportunity to have a great life. Dad gave me the perspective of who I was and who I can become. His love and appreciation of my talents gave me confidence to achieve all great things in life. Now that I am a parent I constantly think of how my parents would handle different situations with my own children. Every day there is a moment that I realize how blessed I was and am to have them in my life. Dad taught me how to love through service and deeds. I am eternally grateful that I was blessed to be one of Norm Birch's nine daughters - - Jenie Hunter

30: Our dear, sweet King cousins and Aunt Wanda who came to Dad's funeral and made us all feel so loved. We are eternally grateful for the ties that bind us in this life and will go with us into the next.

31: A most kind, beautiful, caring spiritual and fun loving man. If every family had a father as wonderful as "Bishop Norman Birch" the world would be a much better place. May your family be comforted during this difficult time -- Lynne Stark

32: I have so many great memories of Norm, but one of my fondest was our final trip to Little Ocmulgee in 2010. The group was Norm, myself, Spencer and Grant. I remember being surprised at how quickly the 3 1/2 hour drive went by as we talked the entire time down. Once there it was evident that 2 days of 18 holes would be tough for Norm. We had a great time on day one and gave Norm the option to "ride along". I remember his quick response, "I didn't come to ride; Let's play." Norm and I beat Grant & Spencer on a 50' putt we had no business making on hole 18. The smile on Norm's face as that putt went in is a memory I'll never forget. He taught us a great lesson on that trip -- always compete and do your best to enjoy the moment. I'll never forget the many laughs, food and fellowship we shared on our last trip to the Little "O" with Norm -- Mark Farley | Left - Right: Ken Gertson, Marc Freeman, Larry Fisher, Mark Farley, Brad Birch, Norman Birch, John Hunter, Jeff St. Clair, Tom P ickett, Rob Marzzarella | Norm was the catalyst behind the Young Single Adult Ward (Northpoint Ward). He pretty much single-handedly pushed that ward through as the High Councilman over the YSA in the Roswell Stake. To me, that is one of his legacies. Those of us who were involved with that ward know very well what a blessing that ward was/is in the lives of the YSA. If I remember correctly, there were like almost 20 marriages in the first year of that ward. I always enjoyed seeing Norm sitting in his chair when we would go over to the ranch or see him sitting up in the celestial kingdom with his sweet snack set up and watching sports on TV. He was always up on current events and loved to recommend a good book. -- Tom Pickett

33: I can hear your Dad say "How ya' doin'!?" in his loud voice and with a big smile. He always made you feel good being around him. I will miss his stories, wisdom, and the love he showed to me and my boys. I was honored to know my father-in-law, to be ordained a High Priest by him and be taught by his great example of being a father. Norm was a great man. -- Marc Freeman | Several years ago I had a flight late on a Sunday night. I decided to go to the airport early to see if I could catch an earlier flight and Norm gave ma ride to the MARTA station. We started some deep conversation on the way and when we got to the station he parked the car instead of just dropping me off. We sat and talked for about 2 hours in the parking lot. He knew my own father was not a member of the church, so he took that role and taught me some important things that day. -- Ken Gertson | Norm was a great example of a priesthood holder. He made everyone feel special and was kind and generous. Family was his number one priority. I'm proud to have my priesthood through his line of authority. -- John Hunter | Since my father was not a member of the church in this life, I always looked to Norm for guidance in matters pertaining to the Priesthood and the Church. I was particularly impressed with the example he was to me with relation to the giving of Father's blessings since I had never had one. As my children came into the world and the opportunities to give those blessings arose, having Norm there to guide and support me was an important part of my growth in the Priesthood and as a father. Through the years Sheryl has requested blessings for various physical and spiritual needs. As a husband to a daughter of Norm's I always thought it more appropriate that Norm give Sheryl those blessings as opposed to me. I will always cherish the spiritual experiences that I had during those blessings, standing next to Norm as he spoke the words of comfort and inspiration that the Spirit dictated to him. He will always be her father and I believe will always have the opportunity to render blessings throughout the eternities, and I again look forward to standing next to him and being a part of those spiritual experiences. -- Rob Marzzarella

36: I couldn't believe what I just read. What a dear man and such a fine and stalwart church member. I always enjoyed being around Norman. He always made me feel so good as I am sure many people felt the same way. He was charming, tender, funny and I loved his observations about a myriad of subjects. Much love with condolences, Eleanor Fisher | I'm so sorry...He was such a Great man. It is no fun losing your father Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your great family -- Randy Mountain | I just wanted you to know that the funeral was beautiful. I never met your Father, but he has inspired me to live better each day. What a wonderful man. I went to dinner yesterday with my extended family and told them that that was the best funeral I had ever been to. It was truly a celebration of life. We love you and your sweet families. --Tiffany Hansen (Sharon Springs Bishop's Wife) | I am so sorry to hear this. Your Dad was always so kind to me, as well as your Mom. He always had a smile on his face. Heck, your family is a family I have always loved to be around! -- Cathy Lugsdin | Lots of love and hugs to you and your whole family. I'm remembering the smile your Dad always had on his face and the wonderful family legacy he helped create. My love and prayers to all -- Irene Banks | I am so heartbroken to hear about the loss of your father. I know that he was dear to all of you and to your friends as well. Please know that I am fervently lifting up your family in prayer. Although I did not know him personally, the stories and way he raised both of you is a testament to what a wonderful man he was. --Lindsay Ables | A big hug from me to you all. I'm so sorry -- what a wonderful man you were able to call Dad. You are in my prayers. -- Wren Martin | WE have had many happy times spent with the Birch Family. Our lives have been made better by every encounter. Good humor and inspiration are the things that Brother Birch blessed us with and a desire to live up to his expectation of excellence--which he somehow always made one feel capable of. Please know how much we love you and look forward to the eternities -- Michael and Julie Smith

37: The funeral for your dad was so beautiful. Your father was a very fortunate man to have a wonderful wife and ten wonderful children who loved him so very deeply. Your father may not have been rich in terms of money, but he was (and still is) truly one of the richest men by what had given to his children and what his children returned.. You and your entire family are truly blessed. The Vasilco Family (Pickett's Neighbors) | Norm is one of the most fun, most positive people I know. We're sorry he went first, because we were thinking he'd make a great speaker at our funerals! His sense of humor is beyond comparison, as is his love and compassion. We use the present tense, because I'm sure he is entertaining people on the other side as we speak. There will be many tears shed at his funeral. Our love and prayers go to Joyce and the wonderful Birch family. --Afton Day | I was so sorry to hear about your Dad. I know your hearts must ache. He was not only a wonderful father, but a wonderful person in general. When I think of your Dad, I think of someone who perfectly honors his priesthood. What an honor it has been to know him. He set a great example for Scott. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. Your father will be greatly missed by so many! What a blessing it was to know him. -- Leslie Young. | So heartbroken about your dad...Anything I can do please, please call. I love you and all your family -- Joyce Stickel | I am still in absolute shock over this sad, sad news. Your father's smile, wit, wisdom and compliments always made my day. We all secretly want to be a Birch girl and your father's kindness made us feel like family. My prayers are with you. -- Cindy Williams | I have such fond memories of your Dad. What an amazing Father...your family is truly one in a million! --Wendy (Walker) Avila | I am so sorry! What a sad day! I love your family and always loved being around your Dad. -- Amy (Whalen) Walton | Norm is one of the "Best of the Best"! We love him and have appreciated his kindness, warmth and humor. Whether at church or at a pumpkin patch, he was happy to see you and share a hug and a smile. We have been blessed to count him as a friend. He always seemed to see the best in a person. We love him and your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you -- Karma Van Sant | I loved King and I've missed him and I am sorry for your loss. -- Amy Reid

38: It was my honor and privilege to be in the presence of the amazing, loving and Christlike Birch family during the funeral. It was wonderful to hear so many fun, kind and loving stories about your sweet Dad. I just wanted to share my favorite Norman Birch story with you. A few years ago your Dad shared a sweet story at a RS dinner. In this story he said, "If Heavenly Father had a wallet, your picture would be in it and if Heavenly Father had a refrigerator, your artwork would be displayed there." This story has forever changed my life. I think about this all the time and how real it makes our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have always had a testimony but this simple story has strengthened my testimony and my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. This story has changed my life for the better. I am deeply thankful for this insight into my Heavenly Father's life and love for me. I love you and all your sweet family. -- Jennifer Walker | I just want you to know how sorry I am to hear about your Dad. My thoughts and prayers go to your family. He was the best Father and the best Bishop. He made such a difference in the lives of so many people. I know that he will truly be missed. I hope that you and your family will be comforted. I also know that there will be many times when you will feel him by your side and he will always be with you. Just know that my heart is very sad. He will be missed by many and admired by all. --Lynne Stark | I'm so sorry. I just heard. You must know how much the McLeod's love your Dad. He was the best Home Teacher for us. And, he was our children's substitute grandfather. He will be sorely missed. Love and prayers for your whole family. --The McLeods | Sending our love. What a great man. I loved him. -- Natalie Kranendonk Maddox | I just had to tell you what an amazing Father you all had. Listening to your whole family today was so uplifting and heart warming. I had only met him once at Sassy Cuts years ago, but I remember asking him about all those girls. He smiled really big and shared some things about being in a household of 9 girls...I would say he was a lucky man!!! And very proud of all of his family. I can certainly see that his legacy is alive and well in his children. I trust that the days that pass will heal your sadness and fill your heart with all the wonderful memories of such a wonderful man. At the conclusion of the service I wanted to a a Birch girl, too. I guess I can't be one, but I can sure strive to lead the life of a Birch girl that was nurtured by a remarkable father. -- Sheryl Madison McDowell | I absolutely loved Norm. Who couldn't? When I worked for Best of Times, his smiling face always made the day brighter. I loved his infinite wisdom. I am so sad to hear of his passing. I always admired his fatherly presence and I am sure his family will miss him dearly because he was a remarkable man. -- Brandy Logan | What a blessing to have known Brother Birch and share friendship with his family. I loved his sense of humor and loved that I always felt welcome in the Birch home! -- Terri (Prescott) Taylor

39: The funeral was a wonderful celebration of life. As your Stake President said, "I have come away learning from a great example on how to become a better person." I too thank your Dad and family for that. I am so glad I got to be present. -- Ira Wall | I want to tell you that the service was one of the most touching that I've been to. You truly have a very loving family and it is very evident that it all starts with your parents. And your nephew who sang "O My Father" ...both James and I had tears in our eyes. That is his favorite and to hear it sung with that voice was just amazing. I know you will miss your Dad, but as Saints we know that he is continuing in the work that Heavenly Father has laid out for each of us. -- Hugs, Rita (Co-worker of Sheryl's) | I just learned about your father's passing. I am so sorry I missed the funeral. I would have been there had I known. I love your family and will always appreciate the love and friendship you all showed to me growing up as a youth and later as an adult. I know that Heavenly Father will be carrying your family in His arms as you move forward without your Dad. He was a good man and his I have always felt his influence in my life. -- Beth (Hulfeld) Smith | I just wanted you to know how sorry I am for your loss and let you know how much I enjoyed the funeral. It was one of the best, most spiritual funerals that I have ever been to. He will be surely missed!--Kristen Pennington | We feel very blessed to have known Brother Birch. His humor and ready smile always brightened anyone around him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wonderful family. -- The McGuinness Family | Oh how sad my heart is for you and your precious family.! What a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. A smile comes to my face when I think of him. What a pleasure to have known him. He has left his mark and legacy in each one of you. What a patriarch! I know that Dr. Nelson and Dr. Pehrson loved your dad, too. -- Shelby (Dental Hygenist) | I wanted you to know how nice the service was yesterday. You all did such an amazing job and were truly inspirational. I hope I grow up to be just like each one of you. I didn't know you Dad very well, but I can tell what an amazing man he was from how wonderfully you and your siblings turned out. I was uplifted and inspired by listening to your stories and testimonies. -- Laurie Nugent | Our prayers are with your family. Your Dad will certainly be missed. He was such a good man. -- Jennifer Meuter

40: Sweet Memories...

43: I am sorry we missed the funeral yesterday. John, Susan and Rita said the funeral was a special occasion. While using different words, they said it affected them on a very personal level. All the children speaking left a real impression. Your Dad left a wonderful legacy. John said it was clear that he had special gifts and talents as the head of an extraordinary family. -- Paul (Sheryl's colleague) | I heard about your Dad and I'm so sorry. I'm not sure if I should call you, because I'm sure you're exhausted. I just wanted to let you know that I had heard and that I'm thinking about you and love you. I will be there at the funeral. Tom gave me the details. I'm completely independent, so don't think that I'm there to be entertained. I'm coming to pay my respects to your wonderful, kind father, who always treated me like one of his daughters. And I'm coming to support you any way that I can. If there is anything I can do for you, please know that I'm here for you. -- Tracey Shoopeck

44: Dad w/Janet & Katie Sherwood & Scott Young (Home Teacher for 12 years to Sherwoods) | The last thing your dad said to me was to make sure my husband treated me like a princess and took care of me. I will repeat these words to my husband and hold him to it because Norman said so! My life has been forever touched by the Birch family. I admire and love each of you. --Sarah Little | When I heard your dad had passed, it took my breath away and I thought, the world wasn't as good anymore without him in it. -- Tara Hansen Prince

45: Golfing with Grandpa 2007

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