Obituary: Barrie Drummond Birks

Barrie Drummond Birks of Montreal passed away on Aug. 13 at the age of 54 following a battle with cancer. Birks served as chairman and CEO of Shreve, Crump & Low Co. Ltd. of Boston, leading the management teams at the firm’s Boylston Street and Chestnut Hill locations.

Birks held a bachelor’s degree from McGill University and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. He joined the firm of Henry Birks & Son Ltd. in 1973 and served as president of Birks Jewelers USA in Minneapolis, Minn., from 1982 until 1990, when he returned to Montreal. He continued his career in finance with Tyringham Investment Ltd. while remaining in the jewelry business as chairman and CEO for both Shreve, Crump & Low of Boston and Schwarzschild Jewelers Inc. of Richmond, Va.

He was a director of Le Groupe Jean Coutu (PJC) Inc. as well as a governor of McGill University; a director of the Alumni Association of McGill; a member of the McGill Fund Council and the McGill University Faculty of Arts Advisory Board; director of the Montreal Association of the Blind; and director of the Birks Family Foundation. He also had been actively involved with Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School since 1991.

Characterized by friends as a true Renaissance man, Birks’ passions included travel, astronomy, dance, driving, skiing, tennis, gourmet food and fine wines, Italian music, and literature.

Birks is survived by his wife, Ann; daughter, Kimberlie; father, Drummond Birks; brothers Jonathan and Thomas; and sisters Lynn and Cynthia.