Passing of Larry Birge


September 11, 1942 – November 29, 2014

Larry was the eldest of four children born to Ernest Edward and Dorothy Helen (Metcalf) Birge, on September 11, 1942 in Berkeley, CA.

He graduated from Amador High School in 1960, where he enjoyed playing football. Larry began fighting fires for CDF in that summer, and washing dishes for CDF academy thru the winter. In 1961 he was promoted to Fire Apparatus Engineer in the Nevada/Yuba/Placer ranger unit. During this time he met his first wife, Linda. Consecutively Larry was promoted to Fire Captain in Garberville; transferred to the San Bernardino/Riverside area: in 1969 he transferred to the Shasta Trinity Ranger Unit; in 1982 transferred to the Susanville Training Facility; to Alturas in 1984, where he met his second wife, Pam. While stationed in Alturas, in 1986, Larry received the Governor’s Employee Safety Award for his work on the CDF fire crews.

Larry’s dream, when relocating to Alturas, was to promote and see built a Conservation Camp in Modoc Co. He realized this dream when the Devil’s Garden Conservation Camp was established in 1988, and the residents of Modoc Co. still reap the benefits of his efforts. Larry retired in June 1995, after 35 years of service with CDF as a SFR II Div. Chief and Forestry and Fire Protection Peace Officer, leaving many co-workers who respected him and “looked up to him”, and whom he admired greatly for helping him realize his goal.

Upon retirement, Larry followed another dream by buying the “Blue Bus” and hitting the road to play Bluegrass Music all over the No. West. In doing so, Larry met and became close to many people in the Bluegrass Community, including special friends who became family, Bill and Darlene Sturgal and Don and Karen Keene. When Larry hung up the bus keys and returned to his home in Alturas, he became a loved and respected part of the Community Jam group in Alturas.

As a young man, Larry was an avid hunter and fisherman. In later years, he “shot” his buck with a camera in his backyard, where the big ones found refuge, sharing these pictures proudly to all. Larry also loved the thrill of racing dirt bikes in his younger years, and shared this passion with his sons. A large source of his happiness in the past few years has come from riding four wheelers with numerous friends from the Modoc area and participating in Rendezvous and shooting Black Powder Guns.

Being part Native American, Larry was extremely proud of his Cherokee heritage. He researched the history and shared his knowledge of it with many friends and family.

Larry passed peacefully in Reno, NV after battling a long illness. He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents, Roy and Martha Metcalf; Step-mother Nella Birge; and many aunts and uncles.

Larry is survived by his sons, David, John and Mark, and their Mother Linda; grandchildren, Aaron, Jacob, Derek, Bryan, Hannah BreeLynn, Aiden, Zachary, Lakota and a baby due in the spring; great-grandsons Jack and Hunter. He is also survived by step daughters, Tracy Jay, Sherri Hasting and Candie Nagle and their Mother Pam Mize; step grandchildren, Sydney, Kayley, Samantha, Ty and Cole; siblings Dorothy Smith (John), Linda Birge and Bill Birge (Evonne) three nephews and one niece; Uncle Robert Birge (Grace) and numerous cousins; and a wonderful neighbor of 30 years, with whom he was very close, Wilma Heryford.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sat., Jan. 17th, 2015 at 2:00 PM at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Alturas, CA.

Scroll to Top