Gerald "Jerry" L. Bird, age 78 of Linden, passed away on Sunday, July 15, 2012 at the family homestead in Byron. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Pastor David Wichert will be officiating with burial to follow in Byron Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m.
Jerry was born on September 21, 1933 in Argentine Township, the son of Henry J. and Doris R. (Ball) Bird. He attended Byron High School, graduating in 1952. In November of that same year, Jerry married Joan R. Jackson in Bancroft and together raised 3 children. Joan later passed in June of 2007.
He attended MSU where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in 1956. Jerry worked his way through college at General Motors in the Oldsmobile Plant in Lansing. After receiving his degree, Jerry went to work on the insurance side of GM as an Auto Insurance Executive. He retired from GM in 1988 after 36 years of service.
In Jerry's younger years, he was a Reserve Police Officer. In his later years he became involved in old time fiddle playing and did a lot of fund raising through this passion. He played both the fiddle as well as the guitar. Mr. Bird was also a life member of the NRA.
He is survived by 3 children: Rebecca (Scott) DeWitt of Laingsburg, Tom Bird of Minneapolis, MN, Dr. Edward (Nina) Castronova of Bloomington, IN; 8 grandchildren: David, Tom, Pete, Chrissy, Emma, Henry, Luca and Malcolm; 2 step-grandchildren: Jenny and Becky; beloved aunt, Donna Ball Hewitt and many cousins.
He was preceded in death by both parents; his wife, Joan and brother, James Bird.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Byron High School Band or the American Heart Association. Online condolences may be sent to the family by going to www.watkinsfuneralhomes.com