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Nancy Orange Birch

Artist, teacher, loving aunt, dedicated Christian Scientist

Artist, teacher and loving aunt Nancy Orange Birch died August 24 at Claremont Manor Care Center. She was 97 years old.

 Nancy was born in Indiana in 1921, the first of three daughters to Vera and Verne Orange. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

 She moved to Southern California in the 1950s and lived for a time in Santa Monica before settling in Claremont. She lived with her parents and later her husband, Robert Birch, at her cherished family home on West 11th Street between Harvard and Yale. She walked everywhere with her dogs Smokey and then Fergie, and loved the tree-lined streets of Claremont.

A lifelong Christian Scientist, Ms. Birch was very happy living with Bob and later by herself for more than a decade at Claremont Manor on Harrison Avenue, right across the street from her beloved church that she attended twice weekly for more than 60 years.

She taught art at El Roble Intermediate School and several other fine Southern California institutions, and also for a time in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada where her younger sister Patricia and her family lived. She was loved by her many students and saw potential in all of them, her family shared.

She painted frequently in her spare time for pleasure. Working mostly with watercolors, her art lives on as treasured works that her sister, niece and nephew greatly love. Recognized by her peers and friends as very talented, Ms. Birch never once sold any of her many works, but gave them to friends and family, her family added.

Her husband Robert Birch and her much loved niece, Jennifer Orange Rosebrugh, preceded her in death.

Ms. Birch is survived by her sister Patricia Rosebrugh; nephew Jeff Rosebrugh (Anne Galipeau); great niece Maya Rosebrugh; Jeff Murray (husband of Jennifer Rosebrugh), all of Ottawa; and stepdaughter Robin McCoy of Eastvale, California.

Family and friends are invited to a celebration of her life at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 5 at Todd Memorial Chapel, 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, with interment to follow in the family plot at Oak Park Cemetery, 410 Sycamore Ave., Claremont.