Alan Charles Birchler, 86, of Southern Pines, NC, formerly of Sylvania, OH, passed away peacefully in hospice Friday morning, June 8th, after a lengthy decline in health. His wife Molly had been with him before he passed, along with his daughter Ann.
He was born on April 28, 1932, in Cleveland, OH, to Charles F. and Annette C. Birchler. In 1950 he graduated from Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School. He then went on to Purdue University, in Lafayette, IN, where he became a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He graduated from Purdue with a BS degree in mechanical engineering, in 1954. After graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Army. Then, in 1956, he joined Cummins Engine Company’s Engine Sales Department, located in Columbus, IN. In 1963, he was retained by Dana Corporation, Toledo, OH, from which he retired in 1994. In his 31 years of service to Dana Corp., he served in Sales Engineering and Sale Administration positions within the Spicer Transmission and Spicer Heavy Axle Divisions. Since 1960 he has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, in which he served on two committees as Chairman. He was a very involved alumnus of Purdue University, being a member and past president of the Purdue Club of Toledo, along with memberships in the John Purdue Club and the President’s Council of Purdue University. He was also an ardent supporter of Purdue’s athletic programs, most particularly, their football program. He was an enthusiastic golfer, belonging for 35 years to Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, OH, as well as being a member of Longleaf Golf Club in Southern Pines. In 2004, he and his wife, Molly, moved permanently to Southern Pines, where he became a congregant of the Village Chapel of Pinehurst. They also established the Bill Birchler Scholarship at the Sandhills Community College of Southern Pines.
He is survived by his loving wife, Molly Thomas. His son, Bill Birchler, predeceased him, but he is also survived by daughter Ann Birchler (Roger Randall) and son Tom Birchler (Melanie), both of Alexandria, VA, daughter Nancy Flis (Dan) of Chantilly, VA, grandson Bill Birchler, also of Alexandria, VA, step-sons Marty Thomas and Boyd Thomas, and six step-grandchildren.
There will be a private graveside service on Friday, June 15th, at Pine Lawn Memorial Park.
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Mr. Birchler’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at Sandhills Sentinel.