John Louis Bird, 91, of Akron OH died December 15, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. He was a former newspaperman and public relations executive.
Born in Fairmont MN, he was an Army veteran and a 1953 graduate of the University of Illinois. John came to Akron in 1956 from the Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel to work for the Akron Beacon Journal as a report and editor for 10 years. He served briefly with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. before spending 24 years with the Cleveland public relations firm, Edward Howard and Company. He retired in 1992 as an executive vice president.
He was a member of St. Hilary Church and a volunteer in its inner city public school tutoring program. He also was a longtime voluntary driver for the St. Sebastian Good Samaritan Hunger Program. John liked to read and listen to jazz. His reading interests ranged from historical biographies to political analysis to Elmore Leonard crime fiction.
John was blessed with a large family to whom he was devoted. One Christmas he presented his children with a 60,000-word chronicle he had written of his life and times, replete with family anecdotes.
He enjoyed drawing faces of his many grandchildren. Some were even recognizable, he claimed. In retirement he played golf frequently with infrequent success.
John liked to say he was given two shots at the brass ring, referring to his cherished marriages to the former Dorothy Rauner who died in 1991, and to the former Patricia Coyne, whom he married in 1993.
He regarded his wives as his role models.
Survivors, in addition to his wife Patricia, include 12 children, Thomas (Anita), Susan (Chet) Wolf, Amy (Steve) Mills, Theodore (Kim), James, Edward (Peggy), Rich (Tiffany), all of the Akron-Canton area, John (Sandra), Watertown NY; David (Jean), Tucson AZ; Julie (Kenneth) Andrus, Arvada CO; Mary (Trent) Ventura, Oshkosh WI; William (Rochelle), Roseville MN; 5 step-childen, Kathy Bergh, Kevin (Colleen) Coyne, Kenneth(Anne) Coyne of the Akron area; Thomas (Diana), Seattle WA, Karen- deceased (Mark) Volpe, Carmel IN; 45 combined grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren; sister, Ellen (James) Sherman, Nash TX. Preceded in death by brother, Thomas(Cecilia); and sister, Mary (Louis) Webb.
Calling hours will be Friday, Dec 20th, from 4-8pm at St. Hilary Parish, 2750 W. Market, Fairlawn OH. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10am on Saturday, Dec 21st at St. Hilary Parish.
Burial to follow at Rose Hill Burial Park.
In lieu of flowers, John requested that donations be made to St. Hilary’s St. Vincent de Paul Society or St. Sebastian’s Good Samaritan Program.
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