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C. Birkelo

C. Walter (Walt) Birkelo passed away on July 7, 2012, at the age of 88 years. He was born and raised in Mayville, ND, and throughout his life was able to raise his family and work and travel in settings as distant as Florida to California to West Africa. Mr. Birkelo's career was devoted to public service and education. He served in the US Army Air Corps in World War II and subsequently as an officer in the US Air Forces Reserve. He taught school for two years, earned his MA in Public Administration from the University of Minnesota and served in the following positions; budget and Personnel Officer, City of Fargo, ND, Assistant City Manager of the City of Daytona Beach, FL, and senior administrative analyst, City of San Diego and city manager of the Cities of Davis, Eureka and South San Francisco. He also was on the faculties of the University of Pittsburg Graduate School of Public Administration and the New York Institute of Public Administration on technical assistance teams in Nigeria and Liberia (West Africa) fulfilling another lifelong dream of travel and service abroad. During his 30 year career in city management it was noted that he had great concern for municipal employees as well as for all the city's residents. His integrity was never in question. When he left the City of Davis to go to Nigeria he was commended for his work regarding comprehensive planning and capital improvements programming (including the core area plan and downtown parking program), for securing the orderly growth and development of Davis through the annexation of over two thousand acres south of the city, for his keen understanding of the economic needs of the city, and for his ability to coordinate the diverse interests of the community. He was likewise commended after retiring from the City of South San Francisco for the city's progress in the areas of economic development and industrial area redevelopment. During his retirement he worked as a consultant and interim city manager, enjoying travel at home, as well as across the globe, and golfing. He was actively involved in the Lutheran church throughout his life and his faith helped inspire and encourage him in his life of service to others. He will be remembered with deep love for his generosity, sense of humor, caring and unfailing kindness to everyone. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 64 years, Ann, three daughters the Rev. Susan Birkelo of Watsonville, CA, Jennifer Ruttenberg, of San Mateo, CA, Elizabeth Zielke, of University Place, Washington, and a son, Dr. Carl Birkelo, of Woodland Park, Colorado and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and eight grandchildren, as well as a brother, Alden Birkelo, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 14, 2012, at Davis Lutheran Church (317 E. 8th St, Davis, CA 95616). In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Davis Lutheran Church, The Nature Conservancy, Yolo Hospice or a charity of your choice.

Previous Events

Memorial
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Davis Lutheran church

317 E. 8th Street
Davis, CA 95616



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Guestbook

Walt was a model City Manager; the world, and the political community, needs more people like him. He was calm, thoughtful, kind, forthright and as honest as a person can be. I admired him and enjoyed serving under him as the City Attorney of Davis from January, 1959 until May, l963. I was saddened to learn of his demise, and with his passing, I send my condolences to his family and my wish that he rest in peace.

Warren K. Taylor Jul 14 2012 12:00 AM

In 1965 I was hired and served served as Walt's Budget and Personnel Officer for Davis. He was a exemplary mentor and a true gentleman. Walt was respected by city employees, elected officials, and his colleagues in the city management profession. An icon of the City's transition from a rural valley town to a vital and diverse community has passed but his legacy will continue. With deepest sympathies to Walt's family.

Ray Butler Jul 14 2012 12:00 AM

I admired, respected, and appreciated Walt in his service to the city of Davis and its citizens. He made the job of councilman accessible and pleasurable.

Kent Gill Jul 13 2012 12:00 AM

Friends and Family uploaded 1 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM