Euel Birge 1933-2012

September 5, 2012

Employees, Personal

Employees

Euel Birge
Picture borrowed from the Rochester Sentinal

Euel Birge was a long time Easterday Construction Co., Inc. employee, working with us from 1968 until his retirement in 1999.  Thirty one years with our company is something we’re proud of.  Hopefully he was as well.  Unfortunately Euel passed away last Saturday.  There will be visitation from 5-8pm this evening at Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home in Rochester.  Services will be at the funeral home Thursday, September 6th at 10:00 am.  Friends may visit 1 hour before the services as well.  Memorial contributions may be made to Hope Hospice of Fulton County.  His obituary can be found at The Rochester Sentinal here.

I personally worked with Euel on job sites during summers and holidays when I was home from college.  He had a quiet sense of humor and was always caring and helpful.  I remember working with him at the Kingsford Waste Water Treatment Plant uncrating equipment when an overly tight piece of metal banding broke loose, slicing my hand quite badly.  I still remember his concern with getting me proper first aid quickly.

Years ago, before I started this blog, I wrote a company newsletter, The Easterday Parade.  Below is a reprint of an article that I wrote on Euel back in 1991.

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Euel Birge was hired by Everett Easterday to be a machine operator for Russell L. Easterday Construction & Supply Co. in February of 1968.  Euel was our main operator for our crane, Sandford, when we had it, and our various backhoes and front-end loaders over the years.  He has a talent for handling equipment, which makes it look much easier than it is.

When he isn’t running equipment, Euel has utilized other talents as a skilled laborer and a carpenter.  With the exception of the “Kangaroo Incident” at CMA, he has always been a reliable worker…

As the story goes, Euel was using the Trojan Backhoe on a project at the Academy when he spotted a kangaroo.  Euel gave chase, but the Trojan, not being a piece of equipment known for stealth, scared the ‘roo away.  Unfortunately, no corroborating witnesses to this sighting were available.

Euel was born in Glasgow, KY and moved to Frankfort, IN at the age of 4.  He grew up in a family of 11 children.  He spent two years in the Army (1953-54), and married Pat, also from Frankfort, on August 11, 1956.  Euel and Pat have two children, Kevin and Dan, and five grandchildren.

Euel and Pat live on a small farm and raise grass.  The kind you mow, not the kind you harvest!  (But honestly, doesn’t this make you wonder about that Kangaroo story?)  Euel spends most of his free time on his riding mower.  Otherwise, his main hobby is woodworking.

Euel plans to continue woodworking and watching the grass grow when he retires.  After 23 years with ECC, he has become someone we rely on.  Thanks, Euel, for all your efforts.

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Follow up 9-6-12:  I attended the funeral with my father today.  It was a nice service.  His time at Easterday Construction was mentioned and I learned that Euel’s son, Kevin, also worked for Easterday’s for a short time.  It was interesting to hear the stories the family shared of his life outside of the company as well as his life in retirement.  Euel was always fairly quiet, so it was good to hear what was shared.

Easterday Construction was apparently well represented as Leroy Bean, Norm Coby, Dave Osborn, all of them Easterday Construction retirees, were at the funeral or the visitation.  Current employee, John Singleton, also attended the visitation last night.  We all wish Euel’s family the best in their time of grief.

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