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Obituary of Oliver "Michael" Birch
Oliver “Michael” Birch, world traveler, award winning film maker, loving husband, father and grandfather died peacefully at his home in Old Lyme Connecticut on June 23, 2020. Michael immigrated after the War, from the UK to Canada, bravely crossing the North Sea in winter, with his very pregnant first wife. The young family settled in Montreal where Michael joined the prestigious National Film Board of Canada. It was there Michael caught the eye of Adlai Stevenson II, who sponsored Michael & family to America. Michael joined the famed Encyclopedia Britannica Films, making his ground breaking educational films, for the time. Notably the Jet Pilot Training Film for the US Airforce, and the educational film of the Oceananic Marianas Trench, both acclaimed and award winning. EBF was known as the trend setter and gold standard in the film business in those early halcyon days. Michael also did some films for the Democratic National Convention. After some time, Michael went on to join Leo Burnett Company Inc., one of the top ”Big 5” of the advertising business. The brightest and best were at Leo Burnett Company, Inc. as evidenced by it’s client list; such as Oldsmobile (not your fathers), Marlboro (man), United Airlines (friendly skies). The beloved characters- Jolly Green Giant, Snap, Crackle and Pop and Tony the Tiger were created at Burnett’s to name a few. Michael retired to Essex Connecticut to enjoy maritime life in 1993. He became a member of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club where he met his wife and fellow traveler of the last 20 years. Michael leaves Wife Susan, Sons Jonathan (Debbie), Kim, Lawrence and Granddaughter Laurel. A Celebration Life Service will be announced in the coming months. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Eightmile Wild and Scenic Fund, P.O. Box 1002, Lyme, CT 06371-0999, and include “Michael Birch Remembrance Fund” in the memo line. To share a memory of Michael or send a condolence to his family please visit www.rwwfh.com Arrangements by the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.
Celebration of Life Service
A service in celebration of Michael's life will be announced in the coming months.