Paul Birch, 82

Paul Birch, 82, of Columbia City and resident of Naples, Fla. in the winter, passed away at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, March 17, 2011 at his Florida home. Born in Noble County March 21, 1928, he was a son of Lawrence and Lucille (Snell) Birch.He graduated with the Class of 1946 from Wolf Lake High School. He served in the United States Army from 1954-1956. On Nov. 24, 1956 he married Karin Sontag in Columbia City. A general farmer since the age of nine, he also worked for Etna-Troy School and Whitley County Consolidated Schools for approximately 20 years. Although he was an avid gardener and enjoyed traveling, especially to the Colorado mountains, his family was his greatest joy. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Karin Birch of Columbia City; daughter, Becca Yann of Palm, Pa.; son, Ethan Birch of Fort Wayne; four grandchildren, Marissa Yann, Kristen Swick, Davion Jones and Keithan Birch; four great-grandchildren, Veronica Yann, Christina and Zelda Duckett and Jacob Swick. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Robert “Bobby” Birch.Memorial service is at 3 p.m. Saturday, with one hour of visitation with the family prior to service at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Paul’s family invites those attending the memorial service to a reception immediately following the memorial service in the DeMoney-Grimes Community Room. Private family burial in Christian Chapel Cemetery, Merriam. Visit to send family condolences or sign the guest register book.