Michael James Birch, 68

Michael James Birch, 68, of Blackfoot, passed away Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 while fishing on the Snake River.
He was born Nov, 11, 1945 in St. Anthony, Idaho, to Lowell Edgar and Rayola Rudd Birch.  He was raised in St. Anthony and attended school there, graduating from South Fremont High School.  He excelled baseball while in high school.   He attended Ricks College for two years, then moved to Pocatello to attend I.S.U., where he earned a BS in Political Science.  He moved to Blackfoot in 1976 and has resided here since.
On Aug. 29, 1969 he married Jackie Faller in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.
Michael was a valiant member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was currently serving as the Young Single Adult 2nd ward clerk.  He previously served a mission to the North England Mission, served as a counselor in a bishopric, high-counselor, Young Men’s advisor and home teacher.  His favorite callings were working in the Young Men’s program, ordinance worker in the Idaho Falls Temple and was currently  working on the Wednesday evening shift.
Michael was a driver for Meals-On-Wheels and a CASA advocate with his wife.
As a young man he worked for various local farmers and worked on the railroad near West Yellowstone, Mont.  He started working for the Forest Service and that evolved into a career.  He worked in various capacities: fire fighter, equipment operator, law enforcement officer and snow ranger.  He initiated  the Inter-Agency law enforcement program and worked with local sheriffs departments.  The highlight of his career with the Forest Service was assisting with the 2002 Winter Olympics where he patroled the ski hills outside of Ogden, Utah.
Michael loved the outdoors, camping with his family and he liked to fish but the big ones always seemed to elude him.  He enjoyed introducing people to the outdoors, loved good practical jokes, enjoyed horses and helping his children and grandchildren.  He liked giving service to others, helping on Eagle Scout projects.  Michael’s greatest joy was his family and giving service.
He is survived by his wife, Jackie, of Blackfoot; his children: Tobyn (Maryellen) Birch, of Pocatello, Tiffany (Jason) Ormond, of Chubbuck, Dara (Brian) Alexander, of Pocatello, Andrea Birch of Blackfoot; his mother, Rayola Birch, of St. Anthony; brothers, David (Toni) Birch, of Montpelier; Kenneth (Francisca) Escondido, Calif.; Dennis Birch, of Sugar City; Ronald (MariAnne) Birch, of St. Anthony; sister, Celinda Birch, of St. Anthony and seven grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lowell Birch and a brother, Shane.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the Blackfoot East LDS Stake Center.  The family will meet with friends and relatives from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave., Blackfoot and again for one hour prior to services at the church.  Interment will be in the Grove City Cemetery. 
Condolences may be sent to the family at: condolences@hawkerfuneralhome.com.