Leland Lawrence Bird left this life for his eternal home on Feb. 6, 2018.
Lee was born in the family home on Pioneer Loop, Dallas, to Darel and Charlotte Bird on Dec. 23, 1931. He was a life-long resident of Dallas and graduated from Dallas High School in 1949 with honors.
Leland married Shirley Joyce Dodson on April 7, 1956; they were true “Love Birds” for almost 62 years. Together they had three children born into the “Bird House”; Debra, Gary and Alan.
Lee served in the National Guard from 1950-1959 as a Tank Mechanic, receiving rank of sergeant and sharpshooter.
Leland’s tool work career began as a machinist with Gerlinger Carrier Co., which later became Towmotor Co. His work and education as toolmaker increased, and later the Company was Caterpillar. He had 37-plus years with the industry before retiring as a tool designer and Numerical Control Programmer.
Lee was caring, loving and kindhearted; this made him a much-loved and respected husband, father, mentor and friend. He lived his Christian faith every day and was an active member of the First Christian Church, where he served as a deacon and elder.
He enjoyed working and caring for the family home and farm lot and participated in building the home on Ellendale in 1968, including cutting and caring for the nine-acre timber.
Lee also loved gardening, fishing, hunting, camping with the family, picnics, barbecues, photography, working with gems and stones in his lapidary club, and learned the art of making jewelry and bolos; eventually securing a patent on a special stone cut called “Birdnest.”
Music was important, as well, and he loved all kinds including school programs, organ specials (at home, theaters, and pizza parlors), Christmas music, musicals, events or just listening while working or driving in the car.
Lee enjoyed spending time with his wife Shirley Square and Round dancing, and traveling to the Coast, Eastern Oregon mountains, lakes and other states when possible. They had great times traveling to places such as Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona and went on a special two-week cruise for their 50-year wedding anniversary.
Lee is survived by his wife Shirley; children Debra (Alden) Sears, Gary (Tammy) Bird and Alan Bird; grandchildren Angela (Jed) Bowers, Andrew (Danielle) Bird and Alexander (Erin) Bird; great-grandchildren Brody, Brylee, Brett, Brisotlyn, Kimber and Kindle Bird.
Visitation will be held at the Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center in Dallas on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 1 to 7 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 16, from 1 to 5 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Dallas First Christian Church with interment in Dallas Cemetery.
Contributions can be made to Willamette Valley Hospice Music Therapy department or Dallas First Christian Church in his memory.
Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center is caring for the family. To share an online condolence; go to www.dallastribute.com.