Edwin R. McBirney
Longtime Alaskan and Sterling resident Edwin R. McBirney died Sunday, Nov. 6, 2005, at his home with his family by his side. He was 63.
Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Fort Richardson National Cemetery in Fort Richardson.
Mr. McBirney was born June 20, 1942 in Nevada. He attended and graduated from Clark County High School in Las Vegas. In 1959 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Yorktown from Dec. 24, 1959 until May 17, 1963. While in the Navy, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for his part in the Cuban blockade. He was honorably discharged in 1965.
It was then that he moved to Alaska, residing in Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Anchorage, Palmer and finally Sterling in 2001. He worked as an ironworker and contractor all over that state until retiring in December 1997. He also owned Magnum Steel Co., Ten HI Steel Co. Inc., Associated Builders Inc. and CSM Enterprises.
Mr. McBirney was a member of the National Rifle Association, American Legion Post No. 20 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also helped start the Alaska Disabled Veterans Sports Program and was a volunteer for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time with his friends and family, reading and cooking.
"Upon the invitation of his uncle, Darrell McBirney, Edwin McBirney came to Alaska in 1965. He loved life and to spend time with his friends and family. He loved the state of Alaska and its people. He was happy to have lived out his life here. He once wrote to his granddaughter, Hannah, 'Go see all the wonders of the world. If you start with the northern lights, we get to see you here in Alaska! Ask for a guide and I will go.' He wrote to his daughter, 'Colleen, remember the hard work to have them, but cherish the great times having lived those times. Love, Dad.' These two writings by Edwin McBirney pretty well sum up his love of life and Alaska," his family said.
Mr. McBirney is survived by his wife of 37 years, Bonnie McBirney; daughter and son-in-law, Colleen and Michael Nusbaum; and granddaughters, Hannah and Molly Nusbaum, all of Sterling.
The family prefers memorial donations rather than flowers be sent in Edwin McBirney's name to the Alaska Disabled Veterans Sports Program (ADVSP), 3340 Mountain View Dr., Anchorage, AK 99501.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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