Obituary of James William Bird
James William Bird
James William Bird, 91, beloved husband of the late Marguerite Grady Bird, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina passed away October 22, 2019. A memorial service celebrating Bill’s life will be held Sunday, November 3, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church on Hilton Head Island. The family will greet well-wishers after the service.
Bill was born September 21, 1928 to James Edward Bird and Mary McGhee Bird in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina and received a Bachelor’s degree. As a new groom he traveled to Singapore and then to Bangkok, Thailand with his bride Marguerite. Bill went to work for Standard Vacuum (Exxon). During their 18 years abroad he became general manager in Bangkok and then in Manila, Philippines. In 1963 Bill and Marguerite returned to the United State, raising their family in Hollywood, Florida and Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1973, they established Bird Oil Company and lived and worked on Hilton Head Island becoming one of the early permanent resident families on the Island.
In his youth, Bill played major league baseball for the Detroit Tigers. After that tennis became his passion. After coming to Hilton Head he became a long standing member of the St. Luke’s Church. While on the Island he was a board member of the Bank of Beaufort. Bill contributed his tireless energy to Rotary and traveled as a goodwill ambassador to India with a foreign exchange group. He became a Paul Harris fellow and eventually the President of both the Hilton Head and VanLandingham Rotary Clubs.
Bill is survived by his children William Edmund Bird of Columbia, South Carolina; Michael Gorham Bird and his wife Mitzi of Forsyth, Georgia; Marguerite Churchill Bird McMurrain and her husband Douglas of Edwards, Colorado; and Kent Grady Bird and his wife Candace of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; 16 grandchildren and great grandchildren; and a brother, Jerry Bird of Athens, Georgia. His many friends and family members will remember that he was always a man of integrity and faith with an infectious smile and spirit.
The Island Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements. Islandfuneralhome.com.