April 7, 1964 — April 17, 2019
LAKE LUZERNE — Richard Charles Birkhan, 55, passed away unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest on April 17, 2019.
Know by his close friends as RB, he was born on April 7, 1964 to the late Charles A. Birkhan and Patricia A. Birkhan. Rich grew up in Lake Luzerne and graduated from Hadley-Luzerne Central School in 1982, where he was well-liked and was a member of the varsity wrestling team. While wrestling, Rich mastered the reverse cradle move and caught a number of unsuspecting opponents with it.
Rich attended DeVry University and Utica College of Technology to study information technology. He worked for Merrill Lynch as network administrator for many years and later for Vertical Net.
In 2000, Rich returned home to Lake Luzerne to assist his aging father and to enjoy a slower pace of life. He purchased a mountaintop property overlooking Potash Mountain in Lake Luzerne in January of 2003 and started building his dream home and studio.
Rich was a friend to many, and was always willing to lend a hand. He was a highly skilled woodworker and built many custom guitars that he enjoyed playing with friends. He also handmade a number of beautiful clocks, birdhouses, humidors and jewelry boxes. Along with woodworking, Rich enjoyed fixing computers and all objects electronic. Adept as a mechanic, he built his own Factory Five Ford AC Cobra Kit car and enjoyed driving it around Saratoga, Lake George and the Adirondacks.
Rich was a member of the Wednesday Night Club of like-minded friends that enjoyed spending time riding their ATV’s in the surrounding mountains and cooking over an open fire. He especially enjoyed camping on Lake George and other lakes in the Adirondacks.
Rich enjoyed growing his own food in his greenhouse and was always generous in handing out extra food that he had grown.
Later in life, Rich enjoyed doing research on the Internet and challenging conventional thought on a number of topics. Always up for a debate, Rich just wanted all of us to have an open mind and to not be afraid to question the world we live in.
Rich is survived by, and was a wonderful and caring brother to Donna, his sister, who loved and adored him. She was amazed at all of his talents and accomplishments. Though they lived in two different states, they talked weekly and spent precious time together on holidays and summer vacations. Richard was very proud of his niece, Jessica Tambascio, who attends Chapman University in California. He loved her very much and spoke often of her accomplishments. Rich is also survived by his aunt, Joan Donohue of Lake George; his uncle, Dick Wiseman of New Milford, Connecticut; and seven cousins. He will be mourned by Kim Berry, the love of his life, of Round Lake; and the many classmates, co-workers and friends who were lucky enough to know him.
A private memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 1, in Lake Luzerne, followed by a celebration of Rich’s life.
In lieu of flowers, Rich would have wanted you to grow your own garden and share the fruits of your labor with others.
To express online condolences, please visit www.brewermillerfuneralhomes.com.