Harry L. Bird, 87, of Billings, passed away on February 10, 2012 after a brief illness. He was born July 22, 1924 in Greybull, Wyoming, to Arthur and Anna Bird, along with his twin sister Harriett. He engaged in all the joys of a small town upbringing, and when he was old enough he helped his father, who owned and ran Bird’s Grocery.
In 1944 he answered his country’s call and joined the Navy, proudly serving in the Pacific Theater until the war ended. When Harry returned to Greybull he tended bar where he met Ruth Durham. They were married in 1949 and began an ice house business for a short time. He was soon forced to look for new work as refrigeration made its way to the west, which took him and his family all over the western part of the U.S.
Harry and Ruth had three children, and Harry always worked hard to provide for his family, generally as a construction laborer. He had an unmatchable work ethic, and was the first to offer assistance to family, friends, and even total strangers in need. After his retirement he and Ruth offered their home in Nampa, ID for several families to live in while they became “full timers”, RV-ing their way through every state in the country. He thoroughly enjoyed his years of travel and freedom and deeply missed the mountains in his later years.
Harry is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ruth of Billings; children, Larry Bird, of Hillsboro, OR, daughter Cyndi (Jeff) Trapp of Billings, and son Steve (Barb) Bird, of Upland, IN; 9 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his twin sister Harriett.
He is preceeded in death by his parents; three sisters; one brother; and his daughter-in-law, Jan.
Our heartfelt thanks to all the loving staff of Highgate Senior Living who cared for our father and grandfather and to Rocky Mountain Hospice who helped him on his way, with grace and dignity.
Services are under the direction of Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M., Tuesday, February 14, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Interment with military honors will follow at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.
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