Obituary of Frederick Mark Birchard
Frederick Mark Birchard (Fred), 60, of Pinellas Park, FL passed away on Sunday, February 4, 2024. He was born on April 17th, 1963, in Erie, Pennsylvania to Robert and Frances Birchard.
Fred was survived by his mother, Frances (Gleason) Birchard. He is survived by his wife, Samantha Birchard, and their six children, Mitchell Birchard (Tara), Gina Birchard, Kasandra Bodell (Cameran), April Birchard (Taylor), Amanda Vok, Hayden Vok and William Wilson; his eleven grandchildren, Tyler, Julian, Cameran, Kynlee, Carter, Raegan, Avaree, Remy, Crew, Journey, Alaynee, his eight siblings, Terry Fischer, Joan Lewis (Mark), Steven Birchard (Diane), Douglas Birchard (Robin), Kathleen Miller (Dennis), Pauline LaBonte (Wayne), Linda Birchard, Scott Birchard, fourteen nieces and nephews, and their big black labradoodle, the “money pit” Bennie Jett Birchard.
Fred graduated from Erie McDowell High School in Erie, Pennsylvania (Class of 1981). He grew up playing youth sports with the Mill Creek Youth Athletic Association, as well as varsity basketball in high school, jersey number 41. Following high school, Fred packed up his red Plymouth Barracuda and moved to Pinellas County, Florida. He immediately fell in love with the Gulf of Mexico, palm trees, and hot summers and then Florida became home. At just 21 years old, he began his business, Land Lords Lawn. His first pride and joy. He ran his successful business for 39 years, with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears but he wouldn’t have changed a thing. He loved to work and was proud to ride on the back of a mower for many years. Even though he had an incredible work ethic, he always found a way to “represent.” He made it to the weeknight games, Friday night lights, and early Saturday morning basketball, football, soccer, gymnastics, karate, baseball, or lacrosse games. He was a busy but fulfilled man!
Fred loved many things, but mostly he loved his wife, Samantha, their children, and his grandchildren. When Fred wasn’t working, he loved to travel with family and friends, go on cruises, play friendly games of poker, or get a “wild hair” and drive to Siesta Key. He loved sweets, movies (especially the scary ones), all sports (he was a walking sports knowledge encyclopedia), fantasy football, road trips, and swimming out to the buoys of the Gulf of Mexico.
He loved Samantha deeply and unconditionally, showing her through sweet messages, heartfelt cards, or just simple everyday gestures that she will treasure forever. He never left the house in the morning without kissing her on the forehead and always brought her “Papa’s Famous Pancakes” in bed on Sunday morning. He would show up with coffee and flowers, just because. Fred always pitched in around the house and loved taking their labradoodle Bennie for long walks or long drives in his truck. There are just no words that could convey the love he had for her, the love they had for each other. They were truly a team. Fred was also the most incredible son-in-law to Samantha’s parents. They shared many weekend dinners by the water, and weekday breakfast dates, and her parents always said he was the best thing that ever happened to her. Samantha and Fred lived life to the fullest and it is very evident in all the memories they’ve made, and it shows through the love that surrounds them today.
When it comes to his children, he was known for being supportive and fun to hang out with! The kids coined Fred and Samantha as the “PARENTS.” They became the modern-day Brady Bunch. He loved to travel or meet up at a restaurant and “belly up.” He always gave great advice and guidance, whether it was for a business, a relationship, or the random curveballs that life throws. He loved his in-law kids like they were his own. He was always a phone call away and a great listening ear. He loved to talk and ramble while driving his big white truck. He was a dependable, realistic dad. He always remained neutral and never picked sides. He would tell you how it was but always said it reassuringly. He was a dad who always gave second and third chances, extra opportunities and was so forgiving.
Fred’s favorite title was PAPA. From the moment he became a grandfather at the age of 43, Tyler was the light of his life. From becoming a Justin Bieber and Wiggles fan to the infamous Bank of Papa, Papa was always there. He was a present Papa, a CooKoo Papa, a protective Papa, a fun Papa, and a spur-of-the-moment Papa. He loved to take his grandkids to the beach, and pier, on road trips, to the zoo, Rays games, Bucs Games, and so many more adventures. He was the most involved Papa. He loved to take them on long walks in the stroller. He loved to watch his grandchildren play the sports they loved and always offered sports advice. His face lit up every time he talked about them, his pride and joy. There wasn’t much Papa wouldn’t do for his grandkids.
Fred was simple, sincere, and thoughtful, as well as silly and goofy. He has a memory of an elephant (his words). He said that silence was golden. He was intelligent, clever, and always had a quick-witted comeback. He liked to make a silly face in a photo or shout out a familiar phrase. He loved sports and political radio, and was a strong, conservative Republican. Trump 2024! He was always fascinated by animals. He couldn’t go anywhere without his specs or his Tempur-pedic pillow. His friends knew him as the rock, the quiet strength, the Big Guy, he always had a smile, a compliment, or a kind word. He was always up for a good time, and they especially loved how much he loved Samantha. He had so many FRED-ISMs or PAPA-ISMs. Just a few are UGGGH, WEEDS, SAMANFER, BIEBERRR, Mimi-mania, Papa-Mimi Sandwich, YO Adrian, Freebird, and STAIRWAY, but the list goes on and on.
There truly is no way to adequately put into words the life, love, and legacy of Fred Birchard, but to know him was to love him.
To view service live at 1p on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, CLICK HERE