James R. Bird

Jun 7, 1934 - Apr 22, 2017

James's Story

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Brewer and Bangor - James R. Bird, 82, died peacefully at home after a brief illness on April 22, 2017. The son of Ralph Wilbur and Lova Francis (Hess) Bird, he was born June 7, 1934, in Princeton, WV and grew up in LaCombe, LA.
James served proudly for over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars and during the height of the Cold War, retiring as Master Sergeant in 1972. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal. During his enlistment, he served in the Strategic Air Command at Dow Air Force Base in Bangor, ME. While serving in SAC, he was a boom operator on KC135 mid-air refueling aircraft. Later in his service he was stationed at Fort Belvoir Air Force Base in Fairfax County, VA as a Nuclear Power Plant Operator and Supervisor at a test reactor. He retired from Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH.
In addition to his loving wife of 21 years, Christine (Valley) Bird, Jim is survived by his son, Daniel James Bird and his wife, Lisa, of Milford, ME; his daughter, Dianne Marie Brenner and her husband, Ernest of Orem, UT; his son, David Ralph Bird and his wife, Dianne of Epsom, NH; his son, Norbert Michael Bird and his wife, Erin, of Hermon, ME; seven grandchildren, Robin Angela White, Nicholas Daniel Bird, Robert Arden Pratt, Jr., Kaitlin De Bird, Liam Gabriel Bird, Quinn Madison Bird and Keegan Leigh Bird, as well as 2 great-grandchildren, Wren Marigold Loa White and Milo Silvan Sol White; his sister, Martha Cutrer of Slidell, LA; and stepsons, Brent Hardy and his wife, Cheryl of Dedham, ME and David Hardy and his wife, Michele of NJ. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his five-year old son, Edward Lewis Bird; a brother, Richard "Dick" Bird; and a sister, Pauline "Polly" Spence.
Jim was a voracious reader with an insatiable curiosity and keen intellect. His interests were many and varied, particularly computer and other technologies, the physical sciences, woodworking, model railroading, RVing, landscaping and antique cars. An exceptional problem solver, he was self-taught and never hesitated to tackle any project, no matter the size. One of his greatest joys in life was working in the garden with his lovely wife Christine and especially eating her delicious home cooking.
The family invites relatives and friends to share in conversation and light refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St, Bangor, ME from 4-6 pm on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Interment will be at a later date. Donations in Jim's memory can be made to the Bangor Human Society, 693 Mt Hope Ave, Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.
Published on  April 25, 2017
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