Our hero Charles Eugene Birkes valiantly endured his last earthly trial to his Heavenly Father’s will, passing into heaven’s arms on Feb. 1, 2013. He took every opportunity to teach by example in his earthly life to everyone around him. We are honored to be able to call him husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend to all. Dad loved and lived life to the fullest starting from the beginning when he was born into the family of John Eugene and Gwendolyn Birkes, May 16, 1952. He learned how to work and play hard at a very young age. In his youth he loved to wrestle, run and play with the dogs and scouts, really not much changed over the years. He started running after our mother Kathleen Parker at West High School and after serving in the Air National Guard decided to come home and catch her for good. There were married on Feb. 17, 1972 in the Salt Lake Temple and soon to follow he started his wrestling matches with each of his children as they came along. It took 7 of us to pin him. Dad used all he had learned to build the third generation of Gene Birkes Plumbing. He never turned someone down and was always loyal and prepared to assist anyone in need. He used his many talents to serve in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Dad was a fantastic teacher, service missionary, scout leader; Elders Quorum President and always loved cooking for a crowd of ward members, even more so if it was on a mountain trail somewhere. Nothing meant more to him than his relationship with the Savior. He was ready and willing to go and do anything he was asked. These last 8 months he was asked to stop going and doing and instead to receive. Never has he had a greater challenge in life but still he moved forward with a smile and gratitude, teaching his family to have faith in all things. With his family gathered, the love of his life at his side and the dog at his feet, dad returned to his heavenly home ready to “go and do” all the Lord will ask of him. We express gratitude to all that watched over and cared for dad in so many different ways these last 8 months. Thanks to our mother who never left his side against all odds! Gene is survived by his wife Kathy, 7 children: Allyson (Jason) Hale,Centerville; Natalie, Bountiful; Brad (Angie), Eagle Mountain; Ryan (Megan), West Bountiful; Megan (Taylor) Beckstead, Chicago, IL; Krystal (Andy) Zeisler,Farmington; Melanie (Kris) Brickey, Salt Lake City; 17 grandchildren with 2 more on the way, his father, John; mother-in-law, Zetha Parker; sisters Marsha (Doug) Bryan, Judy (Denny) Butler, brother Brent (Terri) sister-in-law Vicki (Kevin) Krannendonk, and brother-in-law Tim (Karen) Parker.
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at the West Bountiful 5th Ward, 840 N. 800 West, West Bountiful. Friends and family visited Tuesday, between 6 and 8 p.m., at Russon Brother Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful. Interment was at the Bountiful City Cemetery. Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com, any memories or thoughts are greatly appreciated.