September 9, 1927 ~ January 16, 2008
‘Bill’ William Galbraith Birchim, a 52 year resident of Torrance, passed away on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA. He was born in Bishop, CA on September 9, 1927, and died at the age of 80. He was raised in Bishop and Hollywood, CA. He served in the Army during the Korean War.
Bill attended East Los Angeles College where he played football. Then transferred to Yuba College in Marysville where he met his wife, Barbara Klare Birchim. He married Barbara in 1950, and they settled in the town of Bishop. They had three children, Marcia, Mark and Marie; and, moved to the Los Angeles area in 1955 to work for the Department of Public Works Bureau of Contract Administration as a Senior Inspector. He worked on many big projects such as the American Airlines Terminal at LAX, the Sepulveda Tunnel, the Richfield Building in Los Angeles, Terminal Island, the Sewage Water Treatment Plant at Playa Del Rey and numerous paving jobs. Bill took an early retirement from the Public Works Bureau of Contract Administration in 1981, and began a career in buying and selling real estate, and purchasing and reselling items from Customs auctions. During this time he purchased a sizable piece of property in Perris, CA and in Corona, CA where he bought and used his own big caterpillar to grade the properties prepping them for building. If he could have, he would have brought hi s caterpillar home to reside with him, rather than selling it.
Bill built a beautiful cabin in Rock Creek, CA spending many weekends traveling back and forth to work on it. He had many hobbies such as surfing, building his own classic long surf board that he rode giving his children rides at the beach in Play Del Rey. He was an archer and made his own bow and arrows participating in a California state meet. He also would hunt deer in the Sierras with his brother-in-law Gene using a bow and arrow. The whole family was involved, each of us having our own bows and arrows practicing at the local park. When Bill retired he took up tennis, and tried playing golf, one thing he said he would never do. He loved to make jewelry and cast figurines. He was an excellent ballroom dancer and loved to dance to Glenn Miller music. He even took yoga lessons not too long ago. He lived his life to the fullest with passion and intensity. He was always busy with a vivid imagination all the way to the end.
Bill is survived by his loving Wife, Barbara Birchim of Torrance, CA; Son, Mark (Michelle) Birchim of Everett, WA; Daughter Marcia (John) Conroy of Pleasanton, CA; Daughter, Marie (Doyle) McDonald of Manhattan Beach, CA; and, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild. He is preceded in death by Father, James Birchim; Mother, Kathryn Birchim; Brother, James Birchim; and Sister Mary Marcellin. A gathering of family and friends will be held at Rice Mortuary on Friday, January 25, 2008 from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. The Service will also be held at Rice Mortuary Chapel on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. A reception will follow in Rice’ s Lighthouse Reception Room from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Burial will follow at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes.
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