John Oliver Birch, 68, of New Market, Virginia, died Monday, February 17, 2014 at the home of his sister-in-law in Woodstock, Virginia.
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Mr. Birch was born in 1945, in Cumberland, Maryland, the son of the late John Richard Birch and Janet Birch.
He was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin receiving a BS in Political Science and Juris Doctorate. Mr. Birch was a Veteran having served as an Attorney with the Army in the J.A.G. Corp., achieving the rank of Captain. While in the Army, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award. After being discharged from the Army, John joined the US Attorney's Office, Civil division, in Washington DC. While there, he served as a Special US Attorney, Assistant US Attorney, Deputy Chief Attorney and acting Chief, before retiring from US Government service. After retiring he taught mediation at The Fairfield Center and EMU. John also mediated pro-bono over 1300 cases in the Harrisonburg Area. He was employed as a corporate attorney at Rosetta Stone and Bowman Andros Apple.
Mr. Birch attended Reformation Lutheran Church in New Market, Virginia. He was a former Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America and a Board Member of the Rockingham County SPCA. John enjoyed woodworking, beading, hiking and backpacking in the Virginia Mountains, especially the Shenandoah Valley. In addition he loved his motorcycles and enjoyed many back roads, especially the Blue Ridge Parkway where he had a lifetime pass.
He married Mary Jude Noel on March 4, 1972, at Fort Lee, Virginia.
Surviving with his wife is his step-mother, Delores Birch of Germantown, Wisconsin; two sons, Joshua John Birch of Bayse, Virginia, Jesse Joseph Birch and wife, Erin Franke Birch, of Woodbridge, Virginia; and three grandchildren, Tobias Michael Birch, Genevieve Claire Birch, Kateri Grace Birch. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara Birch-Carl of Tollhouse, California; three brothers, James Birch of Bloomington, Indiana, David Birch of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mark Birch of Colgate, Wisconsin; as well as three nieces who referred to him "second dad", Alicia Kingree, Jennifer Lutz, Jamie Noel and numerous nieces, nephew and great nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Friday evening, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel, Winchester, Virginia.
A funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at Reformation Lutheran Church, New Market, Virginia with Reverend Jeffrey Sonofield officiating. Interment with Military Honors will be in St. Matthews Cemetery, New Market, Virginia.
Memorial contributions may be made to Reformation Lutheran Church, 9283 West Congress Street, New Market, Virginia 22844, or Fairfield Mediation Center, 165 South Main Street Suite A, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801 or Rockingham County SPCA, P.O. Box 413, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22803.
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Omps Funeral Home - Amherst Chapel
1600 Amherst Street Winchester, VA 22601
Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Feb. 19, 2014