Cover photo for Doug Birk's Obituary
1948 Doug Birk 2024

Doug Birk

March 14, 1948 — January 28, 2024

Manti, Utah

 Our favorite player has turned in his jersey and will now be playing for the other side. Douglas J. Birk left us in the early morning hours on January 28, 2024. He was 75 years old. 

    Doug was born on March 14, 1948, in American Fork to John Clyde and Lorna Jones Birk. It had been 10 years since the Birk’s had welcomed a baby, and his arrival brought much joy to his parents, sisters and brother. 

    Doug grew up in American Fork and never stopped telling us how wonderful it was. He was a rascal and kept everyone busy with his many interests and hobbies. If there was a ball, bat, gun or fishing pole, Doug was always game. Some of his happiest times were spent on the ballfield, in the gym or up the canyon. His parents built a summer home in Tibblefork and he had many treasured memories of time spent at the cabin. 

    Doug had an exceptional high-school career. He graduated from American Fork High School with the class of 1966, lettering in Baseball, Basketball and Tennis. He went on to attend Mesa State in Grand Junction, Colorado, playing basketball from 1966-68. The next big play was a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Palmyra, New York. He served as both district leader and assistant to the president. He also enjoyed his involvement with the Hill Camorah Pageant, performing as Captain Moroni and serving in administrative leadership. 

    He met his lifelong sweetheart Donna while they both worked as recreation interns at the Utah State Training School. Doug invited Donna for a home visit and decided to keep her. They married on April 12, 1973, in the Salt Lake City Temple. They planned on having enough boys for their own basketball team. They were blessed with four darling girls. 

    They made home base first in American Fork and then in Manti. The Birk house was always filled with much laughter and games. He played to win, but sometimes it felt like he played to make everyone else lose. His wife and daughters matched his competitive spirit and Birk Family game night often gave us many chances to kiss and make up later. He was a champion hide-and-seek player and was the homerun leader for fat bat baseball on the side porch. 

    His highlight reel includes his work with the youth. He loved his years coaching basketball at both Manti and Gunnison high schools.  In his later years he had the chance to serve as bus driver for many of the teams from Manti High School. He loved his time with the teams and made good use of his high-school athletics pass, never missing a game. He was a diehard fan of the Manti Templars, the Gunnison Bulldogs and the New York Yankees and he would be happy to talk shop with anyone who would listen. 

    If we couldn’t find Dad on the court or at the ball field, we knew he was up the canyon. He was a lifelong dedicated hunter and enjoyed hunts from Arizona to Alaska. He especially enjoyed the well-earned nickname “King Fish “, and many fish are relieved at his passing. He fostered a love of the outdoors in his daughters and grandchildren. We all wish we could go for just one more ride. We are left with a 6ft 5in hole in our hearts. He will be so missed, and we are grateful for the times we shared. We are forever thankful that we had Coach Birk on our team. 

    At this time, we would like to thank his retail sponsors: Cabella’s, Sportsmans Warehouse, and Smith and Edwards; he couldn’t drive by any of them without stopping by for an hour or two. He also promoted extra-thin milkshakes, Jordan almonds, peach rings, and Nathans hot dogs. Additional sponsorship provided by Phantom of the Opera, CJ Box- Joe Picket Novels, the Legend of Bagger Vance and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland. 

    Doug leaves behind a loving team including his wife of 50 years, Donna Smith Birk; and four daughters: Rebeckah (Bob) Buckley, Brenda (Dustin) Mackey, Brooke (Brady) Twitchell, and Bridgette (Devin) Spenst; 15 grandchildren, and 1 great-granddaughter; as well as sister-in-law: Barbara Birk and many nieces, nephews, and adoring fans. He also leaves behind his loyal pup Annie. 

    He will now be playing with team mates on the other side including his parents; sisters: Beverly (Ray) Louder, Joyce (Kay) Wilson; and brother Gordon Birk. 

    Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 11:00am in the Red Brick Church, where friends may call Wednesday evening from 6:00-7:30 pm and Thursday morning from 9:30-10:30am. Interment will be in the American Fork Cemetery at 3:15 p.m. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook and livestreaming of the services at www.maglebymortuary.com under Doug’s obituary.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Doug Birk, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 am (Mountain time)

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Visitation

Thursday, February 1, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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