Obituary of Thomas Edward Bird
BIRD, Thomas Edward – With love and heartache we are saying “good bye” to our extraordinary husband, Dad and Papa.
Tom was born in North Sydney, May 14, 1943, to Henry and Josephine (Richard) Bird. Despite hardships, their home was filled with love, sacrifices and support for their four children. Tom’s possession of an orange crate turned cupboard reminded him of his early roots, and he cherished these memories.
By 1972, Tom had earned a B.A., B.Ed., and an M.Ed. from Acadia University. His professional life reflected diversity and leadership. Tom served as Principal at Central Kings Rural High, Knob Lake Protestant School in Quebec, where he also was the Educational Consultant to the Iron Ore Company of Canada, New Germany Rural High, Centre Consolidated School and Bridgewater Elementary. He was President of the Nova Scotia School Administrators Association, President of the Phi Delta Kappa Acadia University Chapter, and Life Member of Phi Kappa International.
Tom’s community of Bridgewater benefited from his vision serving as Bridgewater’s Mayor, President of the Bridgewater Chamber of Commerce, member of the South Shore Regional Hospital Board and Foundation. He also proudly served as an Auxiliary RCMP member and Executive Assistant to the MLA, for Lunenburg West.
Among his humanitarian endeavours, Tom served as President of the Bridgewater Kinsmen and K40, drove the Senior Wheels bus, co-chaired the first Relay for Life and chaired the NS Provincial Health Council. He loved his church and proudly served as Chairman of the Board of Stewards and of the new governance model of the Church Council.
While studying at Truro’s Nova Scotia Teachers’ College, Tom met the love of his life, Joy, and in spite of driving a ’59 VW Bug with no radio, no heat, and not enough power to climb King Street hill, their romance blossomed and their wonderful adventure together began in 1965. They felt truly blessed to become parents of Natalie and Stephanie and were thrilled with the birth of their grandsons, Alex and Max. Papa and his boys built a tree house, travelled to the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and spent many Spring Breaks in Florida. He was their biggest fan, always cheering them on in their sports, activities and studies. Michael and Shaun’s families were warmly welcomed to the “Bird Nest,” and many great times were shared.
Tom enjoyed music, biking, dancing, skating, skiing, wine making, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. He enjoyed planning “Pub” events and house parties for their many happy gatherings. Together with Joy, they travelled extensively and spent their winters in Florida, acknowledging always that they had received more than their full share of happiness and were grateful for all of God’s gifts. Tom’s intelligence, energy, generous love and wise guidance will be remembered and so missed.
Tom is survived by “his beautiful Valley girl” Joy; daughters, Natalie (Michael), Fall River; Stephanie (Shaun), Halifax; grandsons, Alex and Max; brother, Rick (Liam), Halifax; sister, Lee Peterborough, Ont.; sisters-in-law, Anne Earle and Beth Barteaux both of Halifax, Janice Wagner Berwick and a very special cousin, Jean, Kitchener, Ont.
He was predeceased by his parents and brother Henry.
Tom’s family would like to thank the health care teams at the Victoria General Hospital Hematology floor, South Shore Regional Hospital and the VON for their exceptional care and compassion.
“You had the hand I loved to hold, the smile that warmed my heart, the kiss that made me melt. You have all my love and always will”. Joy
Please join us to celebrate Tom’s life on Friday, December 20, 2019 at 2 p.m. in Bridgewater United Church, 87 Hillcrest Street, Bridgewater with a reception following. Pastor Angela Clifton and Rev. Jeff Chant officiating. A private family interment will take place in Brookside Cemetery, Bridgewater. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to South Shore Regional Hospital, Bridgewater United Church or charity of choice.
Arrangements entrusted to Sweeny’s Funeral Home, 35 York Street, Bridgewater where on-line condolences and messages may be made by visiting www.sweenysfuneralhome.com.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Thomas
Bird 1943 2019..
Death notice for the town of: Bridgewater, Province: Nova Scotia