September 29, 2018

Start Time:

11:00 a.m.


Union Park United Methodist Church


2305 East 12th Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50316

Arrangements By:

Merle Hay Funeral Home

Ralph Alvin Birkinbine

Ralph Alvin “Al” Birkinbine, 86 of Des Moines, passed away August 25, 2018 after several years of declining health.  Alvin was born September 22, 1931. He was raised on a farm in rural Wapello Co, attended Agency High School, class of ’51. He farmed and worked highway construction as a teen. He served his country after being drafted by the Army during the Korean War learning radio skills. Al went to business school on GI benefits.  He worked as a billing clerk for several trucking companies, in shipping at Firestone Tires for 10 years and as a rate analyst for the Iowa Department of Transportation for 19 years.


Al was a ”Jack of all Trades” gaining knowledge in farming, construction and problem solving to fix most anything.  He served on the Board of Trustees for Union Park UMC and the Board of Directors for Camp Wesley Woods. He volunteered his time, skills and knowledge as well as equipment. He enjoyed work mission trips to a variety of countries using his building skills. He and Jan traveled to all 50 states, 21 National Parks and multiple countries. Al loved volunteering, gardening, camping, wildlife, nature and then reading magazines about all of those things.


He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 54 years, Janet Ann (Welsch), dtr, Linda Hartney, son, Jay Birkinbine, grandkids, Emily and Cole, nieces, nephews, cousins, dtrs from a previous marriage Cheryl Byrne, Gail Eastwood (Rex), grandsons, David (Emilee), Eric (Nichole), great grandchildren Payton, Sophia, Miles and Max.


Al was the last of Ralph and Ethel Birkinbine’s 5 kids.  Al’s oldest son, Wayne, passed 9-18-18. They are now all reunited and probably having a  “Birkinbine Heaven Reunion”.


A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday 9/29/18 at 11:00 am Union Park United Methodist Church 2305 East 12th St Des Moines, IA 50316. Memorial Donations to Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center 10896 Nixon St, Indianola, IA 50125


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