Cover photo for Melvin Birrell's Obituary
Melvin Birrell Profile Photo

Melvin Birrell

d. June 24, 2011

Melvin Robert Birrell, 89, of Belleville died Friday, June 24 at Republic County Hospital in Belleville.  He was born August 9, 1921 to Andrew and Lila (French) Birrell in Republic, Kansas.  He grew up on the family farm, and was called to service in the army at the start of World War II.  He went ashore on Omaha Beach in the first waves of the Normandy Invasion.  His unit received a commendation for their role in the battle.  After the war he was honorably discharged, and returned to farm in Republic. He married  Evelyn VerMaas on August 2, 1948, and in 1953 moved to Denver, Colorado where he began a career as a truck driver.  By 1963 the family included 3 children, Christine, Craig, and Scott, when they moved to Warrenton, Missouri, where they lived for many years.  After Melvin's retirement he and his wife Evelyn spent time travelling extensively.  In 2003 they moved back to Belleville to be near the family farm that Melvin loved. Melvin is survived by his brother, Darrell, of Republic; his 3 children, Christine, and her husband Olin Boone of Lincoln, Nebraska; Craig Birrell and wife Eileen of Olympia, Washington; and Scott Birrell of Belleville.  He has 5 grandchildren: Brian Boone, Abigail Birrell, Megan Boone, Ewan Birrell, and Amanda Boone; and 4 great grandchildren: Lila, Ethan, Rowan, and Malcolm as well as many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Vivian and Velma, and his wife, Evelyn in March of this year. Memorial services will be held Saturday, July 2, 2011 at the American Lutheran Church in Belleville, Kansas with Pastor Art Bliese officiating. Family inurnment will be held later at Washington Cemetery rural Rebpublic, Kansas. Military Rites will be conducted by the Army Honor Guard of Fort Riley, Kansas. Memorials may be made to the Shriner's Children's Hospital in care of Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, Belleville, Kansas.

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