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Earl Birk

1944 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Earl Birk Obituary
Earl Birk

Earl Birk, age 72, from Sioux Falls, died at his home June 6, after a long battle with kidney cancer. He was born January 13, 1944 to Jorgen and Astrid Birk in Bronson, Iowa, and was raised on the family farm.

Earl served in the Navy aboard the USS Montrose during the Viet Nam war, and was honorably discharged in 1969. He went on to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University, graduating in 1973. He was united in marriage to Nita Rolfes on August 11 of the same year.

Earl started his engineering career at E.F. Johnson Company in Waseca, Minnesota, later moving to Clear Lake, Iowa. In 1978 Earl accepted an engineering position at the new Litton Industries microwave oven plant in Sioux Falls, and received Litton's Advanced Achievement Technology Award for a patent he received on a microwave oven door. In 1986 Earl changed careers, becoming a Certified Financial Planner for IDS (later Ameriprise Financial).

In 2006 Earl retired. He spent his retirement working part-time doing maintenance and odd jobs at The Inn On Westport, and helping his two sons with various projects. Earl especially loved caring for his five grandchildren, and prided himself on being ready to help at a moment's notice. Spending time with his family was easily the most important thing in his life, and he actively lived the philosophy that "the children are our future".

Earl is survived by his wife of 43 years, two sons, Jared (Robyne) of Watertown, SD; Matthew (Stacie) of Worthing, SD; four grandsons, Jorgen, Cody, Jack, and Benjamin; one granddaughter, Amanda; a brother, Richard (Sandra) of Sioux City, IA; two sisters, Donna (Lowell) Thurow of Sioux City, IA; Doris (Rodney) Willms of Brooklyn Park, MN; in-laws, Bob and Barbara Rolfes of Sioux City, IA and Jana Rolfes of Antioch, California; and many special nieces and nephews.

Earl was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Niels, and sister-in-law, Karen Birk.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be directed to the Feeding South Dakota back pack program in Earl's name.

Thanks to family, friends, and Asera Care Hospice (Alice and Chelsea) for helping us through this journey.

To Earl nothing was impossible and he lived by the philosophy "I'll either find a way or make one". He continued that philosophy in his fight with cancer.
Published in The Argus Leader on June 7, 2016
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