In Memory of





Obituary for Robert Chesley "Bob" Bird

Bird, Robert Chesley
Died of natural causes in Almonte, Ontario on May 5, 2024 at age 83. He was surrounded by his wife and five children who read him his favourite poem, sang him his favourite hymn, and held him as he took his final breaths.
Robert was born September 19, 1940, in Whitehorse, Yukon, the third and last child to Sidney Leonard Bird and Edna Mae (nee Hamilton). At age nine the family moved east and eventually settled in Hull, Quebec. Robert graduated from Royal Military College in Kingston at age 19 and served as an officer in the Armoured Corps. After the military he became a high school teacher in Napanee, where he met the love of his life, fellow teacher Cora Ann (nee Roxburgh). They went on a ski trip together and have been inseparable ever since. They settled in Almonte where Robert was the Head of the English Department at ADHS; Ann taught high school math in nearby Smiths Falls. Together, Robert and Ann have five children and nine grandchildren: Michelle Josephine Kay (h. Roger O’Connor, children George, Alexandra, Isabelle, and Robert); Stephanie Marie Bird (h. Gerrard Klaus, child A.J.); Robert Alexander Bird (w. Andrea Bird, child Charlotte); James Andrew Bird; and Elizabeth Ann Anderson (h. Ryan Anderson, children Sydney, Thomas, and Olivia).
In 1978, Robert and Ann moved to the country and had a hobby farm. He built several houses in the summers. After retirement from teaching Robert continued working with renovations and other jobs. He had an income tax filing business which he ran until his death. The driving force of his businesses was his heart for those in need.
Robert believed that love is shown by action. He built houses with Habitat for Humanity. He was active in the Lions Club, the church, the soccer program, and innumerable community events and causes. Robert and Ann sponsored Cambodian refugees Huoy and Try Tan who escaped the Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s, welcomed them as family, and built a house for them. Huoy and Try have been fixtures at Bird family gatherings ever since. Robert was capable of virtually everything and quick to lend a hand to whomever needed it. He was proud to be delivering groceries to shut-ins while in his eighties.
Robert and Ann loved travelling. They spent two years, 1982 and 1988, in England, on a teaching exchange, and toured Europe with their family. Robert and Ann took extensive RV trips throughout North America. Robert especially loved visiting with his many relatives in Western Canada.
Robert was a voracious reader with an insatiable curiosity. He had a quick mind, a sharp wit, and a mischievous sense of humour. He always made the room come alive.
Robert vowed that he would always be there for his family, and he always was. Our loss of him is beyond measure.
A funeral will be held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Almonte at 3:00pm on Saturday May 11.