Theodore Joseph Birdsall, Jr. passed away in Stuart, Florida on August 5, 2014.
Ted was born in Union City, New Jersey on March 4, 1924, the eldest of four children born to Theodore Joseph and Margaret Marsh Birdsall. He began working at an early age to help his family through the Great Depression. When the U.S.entered World War II, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 17 and spent more than 2 years in the Pacific theater. He then was chosen to attend flight scool and was sent to Cornell College In Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Following his honorable discharge at the end of the war, he found work in Cedar Rapids. On August 1, 1947 he married Eileen Mae Kotilinek who remained the love of his life for 67 years.
Ted became active Linn County politics and served as Deputy County Auditor before accepting a position with the Cryovac Division of W.R. Grace & Company. During his career with Grace he was transferred many times, living in Lockport, New York; Berea, Ohio; Greenville, South Carolina; Wyomissing, Pennsylvania; and Schaumberg, Illinois. Following his retirement, he resided in Oxford Junction, Iowa, where he was elected mayor three times. He subsequently divided his time between Oxford Junction and Jensen Beach, Florida.
Throughout his life Ted was an active member of the Republican Party and the American Legion. He delighted in the company of old friends and new, and spent many happy hours fishing the Wapsipinicon River in Iowa and surfcasting the ocean at Jensen Beach.
Ted was the father of three sons; the death of the oldest in 1967 was the greatest sadness of his life. He is survived by his wife Eileen, sons Paul and Dennis, daughters in law Patty and Diane, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Eileen Mae (Kotilinek) Birdsall passed away in Stuart, Florida on July 14, 2017.
She was born in Oxford Junction, Iowa on September 9, 1917, the first child of Joseph and Helen (McNicholas) Kotilinek. Following her graduation from Oxford Junction High School in 1934, Eileen worked for the Oxford Mirror newspaper for several years. After a brief period of employment in Des Moines, she accepted a job with Collins Radio and moved to Cedar Rapids, where she remained through World War II. Following the war, she met a young Marine veteran, Theodore Joseph (Ted) Birdsall, Jr.; they were married on August 1, 1947, and remained devoted to each other until his death on August 5, 2014.
After Cedar Rapids, Eileen and Ted followed his career to Lockport, New York; Berea, Ohio; Greenville, South Carolina; Wyomissing, Pennsylvania; and Schaumburg, Illinois. In each place, Eileen created a unique and gracious home reflecting her many interests, including antiques, interior decoration, flower arranging and herbs. With each move she also enjoyed new challenges and opportunities, at times by working with a local enterprise, but often by establishing her own antique or horticultural business. She supported numerous community projects, including development of the Oxford Junction Senior Center, and was an active garden club member who enjoyed sharing her knowledge of herbs and herb gardening.
After retirement, she and Ted divided their time between the family home in Oxford Junction and a winter home in Jensen Beach, Florida. Eileen is remembered for the warmth and hospitality she offered to friends and family whom she welcomed to her homes for dinners, holidays and informal gatherings throughout her life. These were her happiest times.
Eileen was the loving mother of three sons. The death of her oldest son Ted in 1967 brought her a profound grief that she bore for the remainder of her life. She is survived by sons Paul and Dennis, daughters in law Patty and Diane, grandchildren Denny, Amanda, Christoph, Denise and Joseph, and great grandchildren Kingston and Kailani. As they mourn her death, they will cherish her memory and celebrate her life. In keeping with her wishes, her ashes will be laid to rest along with her husband's in Oxford Junction.