Mary Birkey passed away at home Friday, December 21, 2012, following a lengthy battle with cancer. She was born Mary Elaine Willcox, March 16, 1930, in Searles, N.D. to Jesse and Ellen Willcox, the youngest of five children. The family moved to Ashland, Ore. in 1936, and then to Bandon, Ore. in 1946, where Mary graduated from high school. Mary and Donald Birkey were married December 18, 1949, and they settled in Central Point with their son Rick in 1967. Mary was strong in her faith and a devoted member of Gold Hill United Methodist Church. She loved animals and was an avid birder.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Don Birkey; son, Rick Birkey; brothers, Ralph and Donald; and sisters, Mildred Willcox and Doris Murphy. She is survived by daughter-in-law, Cheryl Sineath; grandchildren, Michelle Marciano (Mark), Jennifer Manley (Howie), Tina Irish (Jon), April Link (Torrie), Amy Birkey and William Sineath; and 11 great-grandchildren. Locally, her survivors include nieces, Ellen Craine and Florence Farmer; and nephews, Jesse Shaw and Bill Shaw. She also leaves many other nieces and nephews and their families.
A memorial service will be held January 12, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Gold Hill United Methodist Church, 416 Dardanelles St., Gold Hill, OR 97525.