John Elijah Bird passed away on November 18th at his home in Plainville, Kansas at the age of 96. He was born on a farm near Lincoln, Kansas on November 29, 1920 to Henry C. and Lillian M. (Howard) Bird. John was raised by his grandparents, Elijah Fuller and Parrie Belle (Thomas) Bird, on a farm near Lincoln, Kansas following the death of his mother in 1922. He later moved to Russell, Kansas where he graduated from high school in 1939. He then joined the US Army Air Corps and served in WWII until 1945.
John married Norma Jean (Jean Hornbeck) on November 16, 1942, in Tallahassee, Florida. They were married 62 years and were blessed with 3 children. John lived most of his adult life in Codell and Plainville, Kansas. He worked many years in the oil fields, was the owner and operator of Bird Enterprises Oil Company, and built homes with his cousin, Albert Bird. He was also a promoter of motorcycle races and events in the local area of Stockton and Plainville. He worked many hours a day in his Harley Davidson motorcycle shop where he was able to mentor many young men who visited there. John was very active in hunting, fishing and playing music. He was a very interesting and caring person and loved traveling. His trip on the Kansas Honor Flight for Veterans was a highlight of his life. He was very proud of his WWII Service.
John is survived by his son Gerald “Jerry” Bird of Plainville, Kansas; two daughters, Janet Kaba-Moss of Victoria, Kansas and Constance Von Feldt and husband Jim of Victoria, Kansas; half-brother Jim Bird of St. Louis; four grandchildren, Wilinda Harmon and husband Greg of Fairview, Oklahoma, Doug Kaba and wife Jana of Paso Robles, California, Steve Kaba of Topeka, Kansas, and Chad Teichman and wife Candi of Stafford, Kansas; grandson-in-law Joe Shaffer of Wichita, Kansas; eight great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his wife Jean Bird, brother Vernon, half-sister Donna Hendricks and granddaughter, Leaa Renee Teichman-Shaffer.
Services will be held Saturday, November 25 at 2:30 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Plainville, Kansas. Interment will follow at the Plainville Cemetery with military honors provided by the United States Army. Visitation will be 2:00 to 7:00 P.M. on Friday with family receiving friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Plainville. Memorials are suggested to the Kansas Honor Flight for Veterans, Rooks County Fair-Motorcycle Race Fund, or donor’s choice and may be sent in care of Plumer-Overlease Funeral Home, 320 SW 2nd St, Plainville, Kansas 67663. Condolences may be left for the family at www.plumeroverlease.com.