Birleffi, John (September 2, 1929 - September 2, 1999)

John Birleffi

Douglas Budget - September 29, 1999

John Birleffi, 70, of Greeley, died Sept. 2 on his birthday at home.

He was born Sept. 2, 1929, in Hartville to Victor and Louise (Bacchieri) Birleffi.

Mr. Birleffi received his bachelor's degree in 1951 from Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado, and his master's degree in physical education in 1966 from the University of Wyoming.

On March 4, 1952, he married Betty Adams in Greeley.

Mr. Birleffi was a veteran of the Korean War. He served with the weapon company CO 2nd Battalion, First Marine Division, as a first lieutenant. Later he was a captain in the National Guard.

A teacher and coach for 41 years, Mr. Birleffi received state, regional and national basketball Coach of the Year honors in 1978 and 1981. He officiated in Colorado State High School and Western Athletic Conference football. In 1994, he received an award of appreciation from Greeley-Evans School District 6 when he retired. He received the Past Presidents Award in 1979 from the Colorado Coaches Association.

He loved working with young people. He taught and coached at Douglas High School, St. Mary's High School in Colorado Springs and Greeley West High School.

Mr. Birleffi was a board member for the Eaton Country Club, member of BPOE Elks No. 809 and the American Legion. He was instrumental in forming the American Legion Memorial Golf Tournament.

At the time of his death, he was the coach of the United Girls Golf Team, which he formed four years ago. He also served as a marshal for the Sprint International Golf Tournament.

Survivors include his wife Betty Birleffi of Greeley; daughter Vicky Schommer of Greeley;; sons Brad Birleffi of Greeley, Mike Birleffi of Denver and Jeff Birleffi of Kingwood, Texas; sister Evelyn Johnson of Billings; brother Larry Birleffi of Cheyenne; and five grandchildren. His parents and a brother, Arthur, are deceased.

A vigil service and Mass of Christian Burial were held at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Interment was at Linn Grove Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to the John Birleffi Memorial Fund in care of the Macy Chapel.


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