With great sadness we announce the passing of our father, Frederick Charles Clayton Bird, on Dec. 17, 2006
He was predeceased by his first wife, Dorie. He is survived by his second wife Ena, brother James Mackenzie of West Vancouver, and children. Dad was born in Boissevain, Manitoba on Feb. 17, 1919 of a MÃ©tis father, Dr. Frederick Valentine Bird and an English mother, Irene (Bradley) Bird. Dad attended Brandon College and enlisted in the RCAF in the Second World War to fulfil his dream of becoming a pilot. His first tour was as a flight instructor. After his second tour on operations (Halifaxes, Snowy Owl Squadron) Clay returned to Winnipeg and his wife Dorie (nee Aconley; 1919-1997) to begin their large family: Bil, 1946, Bob, 1951, Bruce, 1952, Brad, 1959, and Kim, 1962.
When the Korean conflict began Clay re-eslisted with the RCAF, gaining postings to Calgary, Penhold, Trenton, Centralia, and finally to Downsview where he taught at both the Staff School on Avenue Road in Toronto and at Staff College, a rare feat for a Flight Lieutenant in those days. While in Centralia, Clay graduated from the University of Western Ontario in preparation for a post-military career as a high school English teacher, which he began in Toronto in 1964. Years later he moved his smaller family, only Brad and Kim were now at home, to Prince Edward County and taught at Picton Collegiate. In Boissevain and Winnipeg he was a supply teacher at several schools. Once Kim was independent Clay and Dorie moved to Vancouver Island where they took great joy travelling the continent in their camper. After mom died Dad found Ena who renewed his joy in life. They moved into Trillium Lodge this year. Throughout his life Dad was an active member of every community in which he lived, having been a Wolf Cub Akela, a member of the Winnipeg Jazz Society who helped start the Memory Lane Orchestra, a volunteer at the Wildlife recovery centre near Parksville, and a member of the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church and Oceanside Concert Band. His was a life of service. He helped friends in the Parksville Stroke Club long after Mom had passed. His life story Nickel Trip was put out by Pemmican Publications of Winnipeg. The entire family, Bil and Ly – Ty and Ryker; Bob and Liz – Robert, Katherine and Alex; Bruce and Deanna – Caitlin; Brad and Karen; Kim and Dean Bartlette – Ashley, and Alison; Clay’s brother Mack and Peggy – Karen and Bob Watson – Lauren and Sam, thank Dr. Bigelow for his years of care and support of Dad. Dad took a keen interest in health issues which benefited his doctors as well as himself, and he lived longer than normal with congestive heart failure. We also thank the staff of Trillium Lodge for their care and support of Dad and Ena.
A memorial service for Clay and Dorie will be held Jan. 27th, 2007 at 1:30pm at Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church.