Charles Birkel
Charles Birkel

Obituary of Charles Joseph Birkel

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BANGOR– Charles J. Birkel, 91, passed away peacefully on December 21, 2023, at the Maine Veterans Home, Bangor after a devastating, inoperable hip injury.  He was born in Philadelphia, PA on October 1, 1932, to Marcella Birkel and Russell Strollo, and was raised in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.  



He eventually joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1949 and within a year was recruited into the United States Air Force, where he spent the next 21 years and was honorably discharged in 1979.  His first assignment was at Harmon AFB in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada where he met the love of his life, Marguerite Butler.  He and “Marge” married in Stephenville on November 27, 1952.  Charlie was then assigned to the Air Force Orientation Group at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton Ohio, eventually returned to Harmon AFB, and ended his military career at Loring AFB in Limestone.  During his time in the military, he travelled extensively throughout the US and the World.                



After retirement from the Air Force, “Charlie” and family settled in Bangor, where he worked as a field underwriter for New York Life Insurance Co. for 16 years.  He obtained his Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with distinction from the University of Maine in 1981.  Charlie had a deep love for his newfound city of Bangor and was a firm believer that if you wanted to make things better then you had, stand up, participate and give back to your community.   He often said he didn’t have much money to donate but he could donate his time.  Over the years he served on numerous volunteer committees in the city, including the Charter Review, Budget Review, Finance, Waterfront Concert committees, as well as a three-year assignment as Chairman of the Tax Assessment committee.  He received the Paul Bunyan Citizenship Award with 30 others in 2009.  He was strong supporter of his neighborhood and advocated for the private sale of surplus military housing in New Capehart in the late 70s and early 80s.  He loved playing cards with their friends, attending Harness Racing at Bass Park, and going to Hollywood Slots, where he was known as “Lucky Charlie” by his friends. Charlie was an active member of St. Mary's Catholic Church (St. Paul the Apostle Parish), where he was a eucharistic minister and served on the finance committee for 20 years.  He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus for almost 60 years, and American Legion Post 12, where he served in capacities such as honor guard, Commander, and President of the American Legion Holding Company.  Charlie and Marge loved their many trips to Newfoundland in the summer to visit with relatives and friends.  He was hugely proud of his sons and family was the most important thing to him.



Charlie was predeceased by his wife of almost 69 years, Marguerite, in 2021; parents, Marcela and Russell; brothers Thomas, Louis, and Richard, all of Pennsylvania.  He is survived by his three sons, Charles and wife Denise of Bangor, Kevin and wife Donna of Brewer; and Paul and wife Michelle of Falmouth Foreside.  He leaves behind his wonderful grandchildren Christine and husband Michael, Sean and wife Kristine, Jason and wife Erin Ovalle, Ryan and his wife Megan, Alaina and Natalie, as well as great-grandchildren Logan and Henry, Olivia and Isabelle, and Brooks.



Our family wishes to recognize the staff of the Maine Veterans Home for the excellent care and compassion shown to Charles and our family during his stay.  He could not have been in better hands.  We also want to thank the staff at St. Joseph’s Hospice for their attention and support during this difficult journey.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Maine Veterans Home, 44 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401 in Charlie’s name.



A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11A.M., Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Ohio St. Bangor.  Burial will follow at Mount Pleasant Catholic Cemetery, Ohio St., Bangor.  Arrangements by Kiley and Foley Funeral Service, Bangor.  Messages and memories may be shared with the family at

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Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Friday, December 29, 2023
St. Mary's Catholic Church
768 Ohio St
Bangor, Maine, United States


Mt. Pleasant Catholic Cemetery
Ohio St.
Bangor, Maine, United States
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Charles Birkel

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Charles Birkel

1932 - 2023

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