Rueben Emil Birkholz, 86, of Cottonwood, Arizona, passed away on May 8, 2015 at Verde View Hospice Care in Cottonwood, surrounded by family.
Reuben was born on June 11, 1928, to Edward and Martha (Haase) Birkholz, in Wilton, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in January 1960 and received his Bachelor of Divinity from Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, on May 31, 1964.
Rueben married Mary Paulsen (1930-2005) from Cashton, Wisconsin on June 9, 1951. Together, they had six children: Dr. Karla Birkholz of Phoenix, Arizona; Valerie Brant (Dennis) of Sedona, Arizona; David Birkholz of Shoreview, Minnesota; Craig Birkholz (Linda) of Jefferson, Maryland; Marian Hargrove (Arthur) of Tucson, Arizona; and James Birkholz (Lisa) of Tucson, Arizona.
On May 17, 2007, Gerry Bird and Rueben committed their lives to each other. Together they enjoyed fishing, collecting rocks, gardening and visiting with their 24 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
In his lifetime Rueben worked as a welder with his brother Carl; as a cook with a railroad company; served as a Lutheran minister; built, owned and operated a convenience store; worked as a life insurance agent; and was a Christian author. Rueben was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, gardening and rock hunting. In addition he enjoyed making maple syrup, wood working, making rock jewelry and taking microscopic rock pictures.
Rueben is survived by Gerry Bird, his children, his sister, Doris Kamperschroer of West Allis, Wisconsin. Rueben was preceded in death by his wife Mary, his parents, his sisters: Ellen Drews and Elsie Switz; and his brothers: Herbert Drews, Leo Drews, Carl Birkholz and George Birkholz.
The family requests donations to: Verde View Hospice Care, 421 N. Willard St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326 in lieu of flowers.
An online guestbook is available to sign at www.westcottfuneralhome.com
Information provided by survivors.