Robert D. "Mike" Birtwhistle
1931 ~ 2014
Robert D. "Mike" Birtwhistle, age 82, of Gulfport, died Thursday, January 2, 2014 in Gulfport. He was born in Englewood, NJ and grew up in Alpine, NJ. He retired from U.S. Navy after over 20 years of service in 1972 where he was a UDT Seal Member. He was a life member of the DAV and VFW.
He played the saxophone for 76 years at multiple venues across the Coast and was a past president of the Music Union 777 and past president of MS Gulf Coast Jazz Society.
He was preceded in death by father, Henry Donald Birtwhistle and mother, Gladys Dehart Birtwhistle; and two daughters, Michelle Birtwhistle and Donna Marie Gens;
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Lynne Birtwhistle; a daughter, Caryle Lena (Tony); five sons, Dennis, Michael and Robert Birtwhistle, and Gary (Tracy) and Steve Ward; a sister, Joan Lewis; five grandchildren, Yvette Cosgrove, Marcus Birtwhistle, Frankie Dano, Jeremy and Taylor Draper; and two great-grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport where friends may visit beginning at 5:00 p.m.
The family prefers memorials to the MS Gulf Coast Jazz Society, 5444 Loposser Avenue, Gulfport, MS 39507.
View and sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com
Published in The Sun Herald on Jan. 7, 2014