Born Aug. 7, 1950, at Paxton, he was the son of James F. and Earline A. (Curtis) Birch Sr. He married Sally Wallace on May 31, 1980, at Rossville. She survives.
Also surviving are six children, Jeanne (Mike) Ksiazak of Edmond, Okla., Amy (Joe) Rieches of Hoopeston, Cory (Jessica) Birch of Milford, Douglas (Jennifer) Frederick of Huntley, Kevin (Johnnie Lynn) Frederick of Barnesville, Ga., and Kellie (Toby) Sheppard of Hoopeston; 19 grandchildren, Kyle, Brant and Kade Ramos, Allie Smith, Payton Frederick, Dallas Sheppard, Devon and Ryan Birch, Daisy, Levi, Waylon, Kevin Jr., Braxten and Jaelynn Frederick, Grace and Evan Frederick, Austin and Tyler Ksiazak and Nicholas Cardenas, one sister, Betty (Junior) Carter of Cookeville, Tenn.; and three brothers, Danny (Lynn) Birch of Milford and Gary (Mona) Birch and Rick (Jayne) Birch, both of Hoopeston. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, James F. Birch Jr.
John served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
John worked as maintenance supervisor for 30 years at the Stokely Canning Company in Hoopeston and after the factory closed he worked at Con-Agra in Rossville as the plant planner for 12 years.
John was a member of the First Church of God in Hoopeston.
He was a Past Master and Life member of Star No. 709 Masonic Lodge in Hoopeston and was also a former member of the Hoopeston Moose Lodge.
John love to tinker in his garage. He enjoyed whittling and watching NASCAR. He and his wife, Sally, enjoyed entertaining their family and many friends.
John's memory will always be cherished by his wife, family and anyone who knew him.
Funeral services for Mr. Birch will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the First Church of God, 1004 E. Orange St., in Hoopeston. Pastor Micah Mobley will officiate. Burial will be in the Floral Hill Cemetery at Hoopeston, with military rites accorded by the Hoopeston American Legion and VFW posts. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the First Church of God, where Masonic Rites will be accorded by Star Lodge No. 709 A.F. & A.M. at 8 p.m. Memorials may be made to the Cancer Center of Danville, 806 N. Logan Ave., Danville, IL. The Brown-Alkire Funeral Home in Hoopeston is in charge of arrangements.