Michael E. Birmingham of Cedar Rapids passed away Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. Michael was born July 14, 1949, in Charles City, Iowa, to James P. and Gladys (Warner) Birmingham. He was raised in Elma, Iowa.
Michael is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sandra; son, John Birmingham; daughter, Jodi Birmingham; stepchildren, David Nelson and Julie (Mike) Elam; grandchildren, Matt, Jason, Sarah, Christopher, Casey and Lisa; 11 great-grandchildren; his sister, Dorothy (Bob) Shive; and several nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Jim and Joe Birmingham.
Viewing for family and friends will be 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Cedar Memorial Park Chapel.
Michael joined the Cedar Rapids Police Department in 1971. He rose to rank of lieutenant in 1987 and was team leader for the Special Response Team (SRT). He was chief of police in Marion from 1987 to 1991. He served as adjunct instructor in the social science and career options department criminal justice programs in 1992 and 1993. Joined the Mount Vernon Police Deptartment and served the community from 1992 to 1994. He was hired by the city of Grinnell as police chief in 1994, serving that community until 2002. He moved on to teach at Kirkwood Community College as a professor of criminal justice from 2003 until the day he passed away.
Michael proudly served in the Army 1982 as a staff sergeant/E6 Army Reserve, 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. His professional affiliations include Iowa Association of Chief of Police and Peace Officers (life member), president; Legislative Liaison Committee, chairman; Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Curriculum Development Committee; Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Telecommunicator's Training Advisory Committee; Iowa E-911 Council and Budget Committee. Iowa State Police Association; past member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Iowa Police Executive Forum; and Iowa Tactical Officers Association.
Michael was an exceptional man. He was VERY involved with his family. Always having his arms wide open to anyone who needed him. He showed anyone who walked in his door love. No matter how he was feeling, he was right there to lend a hand or an ear. We learned from him the value of family and making sure you always take of your own. He left a lasting impression on our lives. Being the patriarch of the family, he was adored and respected. EVERYONE loved him. Michael was 100 percent IRISH and PROUD of it!