William E. “Bill” Birge, 72, Avon

IM00William E. “Bill” Birge, 72, of Avon, died Friday (July 3) at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born in Jasper July 14, 1942, to Cyril and Antoinette (Kunkel) Birge.

Bill was a 20-year U.S. Navy veteran stationed on San Salvador Island, Bermuda, and San Diego, California, among others. He lived in San Diego before moving back to Jasper in 1991, where he became co-owner and operator of The Gallery framing studio for almost 20 years. He was a professional, published artist and contributed murals to the Dubois County Museum and 10th Street Elementary School. He had a longtime interest in computers and taught basic computer classes to the elderly. He had a love for animals, especially dogs, and for a time was active in K-9 search and rescue. He had a passion for astronomy and was a volunteer for the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute. He enjoyed fishing, NASCAR, and football, especially the San Diego Chargers.

He is survived by one son, Monty and wife Rachael (Keller), Avon; two grandsons, Eric and Zachary Birge; four brothers, Jerry and wife Mag, and John and wife Lisa, all of Jasper; Jim and wife Donna, Long Beach, California, and Bob and wife Barb, Indianapolis; and four sisters, Judy Calley and husband Bob, Sebastian, Florida, Jane Birge, Beaumont, Texas, Betty Anderson and husband Rick, Muncie, and Kathy Eckerle, Jasper; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Erik, who died in infancy.

Friends may call from 2-7 p.m. Friday at the Becher-Kluesner downtown chapel.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Dementia Society of America, or to ASPCA. Online condolences may be made at www.becherkluesner.com.