F. Pepper Birchard

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Born: March 20, 1923

Died: March 28, 2011

Services: Memorial Service at St. Albans Episc. Church Saturday, April 2,2011- 3:00PM

Visitation: Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Memorial Visitation Friday, April 1,2011-2-4 & 7-9PM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — F. Pepper Birchard, 88, an advertising and public relations executive who lived on Staten Island for over a half-century, died Monday at his home in Tottenville.

Mr. Birchard was born in Scranton, Pa., and attended Mercersberg Academy and Penn State. He interrupted his college education to serve as a radio operator in the U.S. Merchant Marine, returned to Penn State at the war’s end, and was deeply involved in its Thespian Theater Program.

After graduating from college, he found work designing and writing greeting cards, then went on to work for Citibank in advertising and public relations, and retired in 1983. He then was called to work with the Statue of Liberty Centennial Restoration project, in advance of the July 1986 celebration. Mr. Birchard then lent his expertise to the restoration of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. He loved music, especially jazz, and was a jazz drummer in his college years. After he moved to Staten Island in 1952, he taught himself trombone, and played for years with the South Shore Band. In 1957, he and his younger brother, Daniel, produced a jazz record, “Art for Art’s Sake,” with Art Hodes on piano.

With the late director, Roy Stilwell, Mr. Birchard produced a number of musical variety shows at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.

He also enjoyed watching college football, especially Penn State games.

“He was a creative, hard-working and honest person,” said his daughter, Amy Kollar. “He also was a modest, quiet man, and never looked to be the center of attention, but he did have a sharp wit that made us all laugh.”

He retained information and facts easily, and was well-known as “a walking encyclopedia.” He loved the challenge of learning new things, and once memorably taught himself how to repair cane and rattan chairs.

Mr. Birchard was a member of St. Alban’s Church, and served on its vestry from time to time. He also served as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for many years.

In addition to his daughter, Amy, and his brother, Daniel, he is survived by his wife of 62 years, Miriam; a son, David, and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Eltingville. Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home, Tottenville, is handling the arrangements, which include cremation.

Memorials: Music at St. Alban's, Community Resources, or Project Hospitality.

Location: Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home (Map)

Church: St.Alban's Episcopal Church (Map)