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Dec. 31, 1940 - Dec. 4, 2013

John Wellington Birger, 72, of San Diego, California passed away on the morning of Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 at Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, CA.
John was born December 31, 1940 in Brawley California. He was the son of the late James Sr. and Janice Birger of Holtville, California. John grew up and attended schools in Holtville. He was a graduate of Holtville High School with the class of 1959. John entered the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1960 and was stationed in Guam and Alaska. He was awarded the USAF Outstanding Unit Award and the USAF Good Conduct medal. After his honorable discharge from the USAF, John lived briefly in Arizona and eventually returned to California where he worked as a mechanic of heavy industial machinery and as a deep sea welder. John was primarily employed with the Hawthorne CAT company in San Diego as a welder. He was an accomplished mechanic, metal worker, carpenter and a true craftsman. He enjoyed camping in the desert, wood working and watching old western movies. While John had many hobbies, he was most happy when he was dancing. He loved line dancing, round dancing, square dancing and clogging and arrived at each dance with a huge smile on his face. He was a member of the El Cajon Elks Lodge.
John is survived by his sister, Rosalie Jacobs of Holtville; sister-in-law Linda Birger of Holtville; numerous nieces and nephews; and many other close friends and neighbors who he often referred to as family.
He was preceded in death by his brother James Birger Jr.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in John's name to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
A memorial service of military rites and interment of John's ashes was held Monday December 16, 2013 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106.

Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Dec. 22, 2013
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