Death of Willard Earl Bird

Willard Earl Bird, born July 15, 1920, the last of 13 siblings born to the late Willard E. Bird and Martha Sizemore Bird, died May 23, 2011, at Thomas Memorial Hospital.

He was born in Warfield, Clay County.

A Navy veteran of WWII, he served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres aboard the USS SC 768 as a sonar man. He was a graduate of Clay County High School and graduated cum laude from Morris Harvey College, now the University of Charleston, with a B.S. in chemistry and retired from Union Carbide after 20 years of service.

He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church.

An active Mason, he was a member for over 60 years and Past Master of Charleston Lodge 153 AF&AM, a Past High Priest of Tyrian Chapter 13 Royal Arch Masons, a Past Commander of Kanawha Commandry 4, a Past Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of West Virginia, Past Sovereign of West Virginia Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, a Past Prior of Mountain State Priory 55 Knights of the York Cross of Honor, a member for over 60 years and a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member for over 60 years and Major Emeritus of Beni Kedem Shrine and a Past Patron of Tiskelwah Chapter 45 Order of the Eastern Star.

He was a member of Charleston Lodge 202 BPOE and VFW Post 8129. He was also a member of Charleston Court 111 Royal Order of Jesters.

In addition to his parents and siblings, he was preceded in death by his wives, Virginia C. Bird and Maxine Conner Bird.

He is survived by his close friend, Sybil Bragg; stepdaughters, Linda Conner and Janet Pearce; four special nieces, Joanne Rhodes, Patricia Dedicos, Linda Schortinghouse and Betty Moore; and several other nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 27, at Barlow-Bonsall Funeral Home with the Rev. Barbara Bailey officiating. Interment will follow in Boone Memorial Park, Madison, with Masonic graveside services by Charleston Lodge 153.

Visitation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

You may send condolences to the family at

Barlow-Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted to handle the arrangements