Our hero, our father, James Milton Bird, passed to Heaven, as dawn broke over Newport Beach on Sept. 23, 2010. Dad, in a peaceful sleep, was embraced with tenderness as we said farewell, expressing our gratitude for his love, faithfulness, integrity, intelligence and sense of humor. Our mother, Winolee Bird, stood with us as she bravely said goodbye to her husband for the last time.
Dad was born in Wenatchee, Wash., to Leroy and Nellie Bird on Flag Day, June 14, 1917. He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in metallurgical engineering. Dad played basketball for the Cougars and was a member of Sigma Kai Fraternity.
In 1943 Dad contracted a mysterious virus and was admitted into the hospital where he was assigned a beautiful student nurse, Winolee Sauer, later to become his soul mate, the love of his life. The comedian he was, dad always liked to say, "Mom got me while I was flat on my back, defenseless." They were married July 16, 1944 ,and celebrated 66 wonderful years together this past July.