ALBERT — Virginia Marie (Amerine) Bird, 91, gently journeyed from this world to a new beginning on Sept. 14th. Though she was a life-long resident of Barton County, she spent the final years of her life with her daughter providing precious companionship in Wichita and then Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Ellsworth. Virginia is survived by her daughter, Lisa Riedel, and her husband, Bert, of Ellsworth and their son, Bret, of Kansas City; her son, Lynn Bird, and his wife, Pat, of Broomfield, Colo.; their children, Joshua Bird, and his wife, Alison Cashman and their daughter, Josie; Stefanie Bird Stafford and her husband, Jermaine, and their daughters Madysen and Taelor, and Amber-Tate Bird and Colby and Logan Bird, the wife and children of their deceased son, Jason. She is also survived by her brother, Ernest “Bud” Amerine of Omaha, Neb., and sister, Bonnie Rychlec of Pawnee Rock; brothers and sisters-in-law, Ted and Ingrid Bird of Albert, and Jean and Jerre McClelland; and many cherished nieces and nephews. Virginia was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Homer Lynn Bird in 2008; sister, Wanda Guesnier; and grandson, Jason Bird.
Virginia “Ginny” was born in Great Bend on Feb. 27, 1923. She lived with her parents, Ernest and Marie (Lutschg) Amerine, and one brother and two sisters on their family farm near Cheyenne Bottoms. Virginia graduated from Great Bend High School as a top student. While in high school she met Homer Lynn Bird who lived on his family’s farm near Albert. Following high school Virginia did secretarial work for several government agencies. She loved to share stories about the time she spent in Edmonton, Alberta with the U.S. Corps of Engineers developing the Alcan Highway. On May 29, 1944, she married Homer Bird. She and Homer enjoyed relating their adventures shared during the time he was training for the Army Air Corps in Las Vegas, Nev., and Sioux Falls, S.D., prior to his departure to Italy. While Homer was in Italy, Virginia worked as a secretary at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver, Colo.
For many years Virginia dedicated herself to caring for her family and supporting Homer’s farming endeavors. She was a very talented and enthusiastic cook, gardener and seamstress. To supplement the farming income she became a licensed beautician and owned a beauty shop in Albert in partnership with a friend. When Barton County Community College became a reality, her dream for a higher education became a possibility. She was hired as the administrative assistant to Dean Jimmie Downing. While employed at the junior college, Virginia was able to satisfy her passion for formal studies. She took many courses, with exemplary outcomes. Virginia was a lifelong learner and avid reader who pursued a broad range of interests which covered all corners of the world and possibilities of the universe. Even though Virginia’s health limited her strength and mobility in later years, she continued to enjoy life and broaden her horizons through books, music, and quiet contemplation. Through her example we learned that within each of us there is a place where disappointments can be forgotten, the beauty surrounding us can be appreciated and a peaceful heart can prevail.
Memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Bryant Funeral Home. The Rev. Lennie Maxwell will officiate. Following the service, friends and family may gather at the First United Methodist Church, 2123 Forest Ave., Great Bend. Private family inurnment will be in Hillcrest Memorial Park in Great Bend. Contributions in Virginia’s honor may be made to the Scleraderma Foundation or First United Methodist Church, in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home**
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sept. 17, 2014