Raleigh and Joanne Birch

Raleigh and Joanne Birch

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the deaths of Joanne and Raleigh Birch, and share portions of a remembrance by Reverend Landa Harris Simmons, Executive Director of the Rambo Committee.

Information below taken from remembrance shared by Reverend Landa Simmons, Executive Director of Rambo Committee.

Global Ministries is saddened to receive news of the deaths of Raleigh Birch (August 30, 2012) and Joanne Birch (August 26, 2012) of Media, Pennsylvani.  Mr. and Mrs. Birch were devoted supporters of theChristianHospital,Mungeli,India.  Through their over 50 years of involvement with the Rambo Committee, they continued the mission of the hospital to “provide sight to the curable blind.” 

Joanne Birch, a graduate of the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, served as Executive Director of the Rambo Committee.  In that capacity she made several trips to Indiaand produced a newsletter communicating the work and medical mission of Dr. Victor and Mrs. Louise Rambo, long-time Disciple missionaries to the region.  

The Rambo Committee was formed in 1923 with funds donated by Dr. Rambo’s University of Pennsylvania Medical School classmates.  Joanne’s husband, Raleigh, owned his own business, served as President and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Rambo Committee along-side Joanne.  

The Rambo Committee provides significant gifts to Global Ministries in support of theChristianHospitalin Mungeli.  When Global Ministries commissioned Drs. Anil and Teresa Henry as new medical missionaries to the hospital, Raleigh and Joanne travelled to both Brookmeade United Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, and Avon Lake United Church of Christ in Ohio in order to attend both commissioning services and offer their love and support to the ministry of the Henrys.  

Since 2010, Raleigh had served as a Trustee Emeritus for the Rambo Committee and had been assisting in a compilation of the history of Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ mission work in the region since the 1800’s.  In 2011, the Christian Hospital, Mungeli, dedicated a plaque in honor of the support given to the hospital over the past 50 years by Raleigh and Joanne Birch.   

Though Joanne had been in ill health for some time,Raleighentered the hospital only a few weeks ago.  While he was hospitalized, Joanne entered hospice and died shortly thereafter on August 26, 2012.  After learning of her passing,Raleighpassed away only four days later on August 30, 2012.  A Celebration of their Lives will be held at Marple Christian Church in Broomall, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, September 8, 2012.  Visitation begins at 3:00 p.m.; the service begins at 4:00 p.m., and a reception for family and friends will follow.   

Condolences may be sent to the Birches’ three sons Raleigh, Richard, and Robert at 411 Old Forge Road, Media PA  19063-5510.