P. Michael Birkel - Class of 1961
P. Michael Birkel Funeral Services Conducted on Dec. 11, 1973
Funeral services for Peter Michael Birkel, 30 of Bellwood were conducted Tuesday morning Dec. 11, 1973, from Presentation Paris, Bellwood, NE. Mr. Birkel died Saturday, Dec 8, 1973 at the Butler County Hospital.
The concelebrated Mass was offered by Father Paul Rutten, principal celebrant, assisted by Fathers Gerald Vap, Harold Birkel and Msgr. George C. Schuster. Bernard Hain was the organist and Fr. Gerald Vap was guitarist. Dan Hook was commentator and Gerald DeWispelare was lector. Denise Birkel read Mary's Song of Praise. Denise, Rodney and Scott Birkel brought the gifts at offertory time.
Pallbearers were Donald Birkel, Joseph Reisdorff, Larry Pokorny, Keith Beringer, Leonard Klein, and Frank Eller, neighbors of Mr. Birkel. Burial was in Presentation Cemetery. Members of the Knight of Columbus attended the services in a body.
Out of town relatives and friends attending the services were from Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, Beatrice, Wahoo, Fullerton, David City, Bellwood, Surprise, Dwight, Ulysses, Gresham Shelby, Lawrence, Odell, Prague and Valparaiso and Denver, CO.
P. Michael, the son of Peter and Olivia Ebel Birkel, was born Aug. 15, 1943 at Columbus. He attended St. Mary's Grade School and was a 1961 graduate of St. Mary's High School.
On Oct. 12, 1963, he was united in marriage to Betty Shonka at Ulysses. Moved near David City to farm and then to the present farm near Bellwood, NE.
He was a member of Presentation Catholic Church, a chancellor of the Knights of Columbus, and NFO member and a former Jaycee member.
He was named Butler County's Outstanding Young Farmer for 1972. He was state soybean yield champion for 1971 for which he and his wife were awarded a two-week Mediterranean Tour. The Birkels were also honored as Farm Family of the Week on WOW-TV and Mr. Birkel was a nominee for Butler County Supervisor in 1972.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; one daughter, Denise; two sons, Rodney and Scott, all at home; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter M. Birkel of David City; three brothers, Capt. James L. Birkel of Offutt Air Force Base of Omaha, and William H. and Max S. of David City; and one sister, Zita M. Birkel also of David City, NE.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Peter and Catherine Birkel and Henry Sr. and Anna Ebel.