On February 23, 2022, Lee Birch passed while in his sleep. Lee was four months past his 100th birthday and he enjoyed good health and spirits to within a few days of his passing. Lee was a longtime resident of White Pine County where he had moved with his family in 1936. Lee was born on October 31,1921, in Salt Lake City and lived in the area until his family’s move to Ely. Lee worked as an auto mechanic for his father at Bob’s Shop, and then at Birch Brothers Garage where he and his brother Wally ran an auto repair business. Lee went to work for Kennecott Copper Company in 1955 and remained there as a General Forman until 1978 when Kennecott ceased operations.

Lee was a veteran of WWII and served as an airplane mechanic in the 11th Air Force. Near the end of the war, Lee returned to Ely on leave and married Anna Marie Garamendi, also a White Pine County resident. Anna was a teacher for many years with the White Pine County School District. Lee and Anna were married for 57 years until her death in 2002. Lee, his brother Wally, and their wives Anna and Perla were active members of the Ely Old Car Club and frequently participated in parades and excursions while driving antique automobiles. Lee and Wally were experts in the restoration of antique cars and their advice was sought out by restoration buffs from around Nevada and neighboring states.

Lee is survived by his brother Albert, his daughters Carla Sankovich (Larry) and Nancy Birch, son Martin Birch (Linda), grandsons Clint Birch, Robert Birch, and Cameron Sankovich, granddaughter Lauren Bashista and great-granddaughters Riley Birch, Grae and Stelle Sankovich, great-grandsons Ethan Birch, and Jake and Tyler Bashista.

The best years of Lee’s life were spent in White Pine County and he was in his absolute glory during his old age in Ely. Lee was able to remain in Ely until his 97th year due to the loving and watchful care of his local family, his friends and acquaintances in the Old Car Club, at the Senior Center, the Ely restaurants, and with the extraordinary support of the Derbidge family especially Jay and Gretchen and their children.

In accordance with Lee’s wishes there will be no service.