Birch, F. Duane
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Mr. F. Duane Birch, 66, of Phoenix, Arizona, died November 9, 2012 at Southern Arizona Veteran's Administration hospital in Tucson, Arizona. Duane was born on August 9, 1946 in Urbana, Illinois to Frank and Norma Birch. Duane attended public schools in El Paso, Illinois, graduating in 1964. He attained a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric from the University of Illinois in 1969 and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business in 1973. Duane served in the US Army during the Vietnam War as a First Lieutenant within the Military Intelligence division. He attended language school and served at various Army posts including Ft. Belvoir and Ft. Bliss. He was honorably discharged in 1971. Duane's work career included many successful years with companies including Procter and Gamble, Cadbury Schweppes, Rose's, Stroh Brewery, Moosehead, Maccabee, Coors, and Pilsner Urquell. While serving as chief marketing officer at Stroh Brewery, his commercial was featured in a segment on CBS's 60 Minutes. He considered his most significant professional work was introducing a new beverage from Brazil, a guaranara infused drink called Samba. Duane also served as an independent consultant in New York City, Tupelo, Mississippi, and most recently in Phoenix, Arizona. He also shared his marketing knowledge aiding charities like Avenue D Mission and the Bowery Mission, both in New York City; he traveled to Washington DC to fundraise, ultimately being honored by Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft.
Duane was a respected member of AA, providing old and new members with mentoring and support. Duane was a frequent Bible study member and regularly invited those whom he encountered at meetings or dinners to be lifted up in prayer. He had an undeniable ability to recognize a soul in need. Duane enjoyed reading, writing, and loved animals, particularly Ruby, Tazee, Lefty and Pancho, who will miss his daily affection. Duane also was fond of a good cigar. Duane is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Dawn, his sister, Lina Austin, his brother, William Birch (Kathleen Hummel), his daughter, Meagan Birch (David Abreu), his son, Duncan Birch, his niece, Melissa Birch, his nephew, Nathan Birch, and his grandson, Michael Birch. A memorial service will be held at 2:00PM on Friday, November 16th at Messinger Mortuary, 7601 E. Indian School Rd., Scottsdale. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Association of Arizona Food Banks.
7601 E. Indian School Road Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Published in The Arizona Republic on Nov. 16, 2012