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January 1, 1970 - March 8, 2009
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Willis A. “Will” Bird, 84, of Hopkinton passed away Sunday, March 8, 2009, at Mary Ann Morse Nursing Home in Natick, after a long period of declining health. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., he was the son of the late Albert Glenn and Ingrid Caroline (Melen) Bird, and was the beloved husband of Mary Ann (Voltmann) Bird. He was born on Christmas Day, 1924, and died on the couple’s 62nd wedding anniversary.
As a youth growing up in Winthrop, he was drawn most strongly to the ocean and to the study of electricity. He and his friends had kayaks and would explore the islands around Boston Harbor. He was often invited to act as crew in the sailboat races in the Gloucester area. The two loves became one after the U.S. entered World War II, and he found himself in the Navy and spent most of the war at sea as an electrician’s Mate first class, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific. His ship was the second to reach the doomed Indianapolis, torpedoed in July 1945 with nearly 2,000 men aboard. Only 316 were rescued, and in his later years, he could never recount the story without weeping. After the war, he attended colleges in New York and Boston, earning degrees in electrical and industrial engineering, and spent most of his career in the field of electronics in companies from Mass. to Conn., and from Florida to Western Mass., eventually settling in , Hopkinton, on Lake Whitehall. He was employed by the then-Datatrol, later DdataCard, in Hudson and retired from there in January 1995. He was an avid reader of the Bible, and taught himself Greek and Hebrew to be able to read the scriptures as originally written. Over the years, he taught Bible studies in several churches and private homes, until his failing health prevented it.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; his daughters, Kathleen “Kathi” Blais of Weymouth and Patti Ann Bird of Blue Bell, Pa.; his sons, Robert G. Bird and his wife, Dawn, of Bellingham, and Terry A. Bird and his wife, Patti of West Palm Beach, Fla; two granddaughters, Katie Bird and Jennifer Blais; a great-grandson, Jamison, and a great-granddaughter, Reese, both of Weymouth. He is also survived by his only brother, Howard G. Bird of Vienna, Va.
A memorial service will take place Saturday, April 4, at 1 p.m., at the Vineyard Church of Hopkinton, 84 South St., Hopkinton. Memorial gifts in Mr. Bird’s name may be made to the Vineyard church of Hopkinton. Arrangements were form the Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton www.ChesmoreFuneralHome.com. Private Burial service were held at Evergreen Cemetery in Hopkinton.