Jared Birk

Friday, August 21, 2009

Heaven's special child, Jared Ryan Birk, 20 months, of Jackson was called to his heavenly home Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. He died peacefully at St. Louis Children's Hospital surrounded by family and friends.

Jared was born Nov. 23, 2007, to Dale and Teresa and Austin Birk of Jackson. He was baptized Jan. 12, 2008, at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Loving survivors include his parents; a brother, Austin; paternal grandparents, Glen and Alice Fluegge Birk; maternal grandparents, Larry and Clara Amelunke Dixon; and great-grandmother, Sadie Dixon, all of Jackson.

Loving uncles and aunts are Terry Birk, Ralph and Diane Birk, and Kelvin and Marsha Birk. Jared was blessed with loving cousins who served as godparents, Eric and Heather Birk. Honorary godparents are cousins Josh, Kelsie, Adam and Clay. Special friends include Brad Gaines and Kelly Parres.

He was preceded in death by a cousin, Chad Ryan Birk, after whom he was named. The family stands strong knowing Chad welcomed Jared into heaven where they will play ball forever.

Jared was a blessing to many. His months were few but mighty. He brought joy to so many with his beautiful smile, white-blond hair and big blue eyes. He and his older brother, Austin, age 13, were incredibly close. Jared spent hours walking in Austin's footsteps and playing with Austin's friends. Anything they could do, he thought he could do also.

Thousands of prayer warriors throughout 50 states, two continents and countless prayer teams include our dearest family and friends, our MedAssets family, our Heart for Africa team, our St. Paul Lutheran Church and School family, Boy Scout Troop 311, La Croix United Methodist Church, Dr. Eric Becking and Children's Hospital staff.

While Jared did not receive a miracle to restore his body, he is blessed to be a blessing to others through organ transplant. Jared will live on through multiple recipients in three states to whom he offered the gift of life.

Jared is forever young, walking with Chad and the other angels in heaven.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. until service time Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church, with the Rev. David Johnson officiating. Interment will follow in Russell Heights Cemetery.

McCombs Funeral Home in Jackson is in charge of arrangements.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to St. Paul Lutheran Church and School or to Heart for Africa, a faith-based organization through which his mother recently returned from a mission trip to Swaziland, Africa. These contributions may be sent to Dale and Teresa Birk, 1136 County Road 341, Jackson, MO 63755, or online at www.heartforafrica.org.

To view Jared's online video or to send sympathy messages, go to www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.