Jerry Bird, 87, of Oelwein passed away Sunday February 9, 2020 at MercyOne Medical Center in Oelwein. Jerry gave as generously in death, as he did in life, by donating to the University Of Iowa Deeded Body Program. Visitation will be from 10:00-11:30 AM on Saturday February 22, 2020 at Christ United Presbyterian Church in Oelwein. Memorial services will then begin at 11:30 AM. Military Honors will follow by the American Legion Post 9 Honor Guard of Oelwein. A memorial fund has been established.
Jerry Otho Bird was born November 4, 1932 in Oelwein to parents Jerry C. and Opal M. (Hall) Bird. He graduated from Oelwein High School with the class of 1951, during which time he was on the wrestling team. Jerry then served his country honorably in the United States Navy during the Korean War, where he docked at many ports in several countries. He was united in marriage with Shirley Gray in 1952, and to this union their daughter Lynne Marie was born. They later divorced. On November 23, 1967 he was united in marriage with Naomi “Mirt” Arnburg in Norwalk, IA.
Jerry had been employed with the Chicago Great Western Railroad in both Oelwein and Des Moines, and also employed with Transco and Lagerstrom Plumbing & Heating in Oelwein. He was a member of the American Legion Post 9 for 34 years. He was very proud to have to have served his country and to have traveled to Washington D.C. on the Honor Flight on September 17, 2013. Jerry was baptized and became a member of Christ United Presbyterian Church in 1997. Jerry was very handy and was one to do many things to help out anyone he could.
Left to celebrate Jerry’s life are his wife Naomi “Mirt”; his grandson Jason (Aryn) Heinzeroth of Hayward, MN; his great-grandsons: Jak and Eli Heinzeroth; his sisters-in-law: Janice Crawford of Pleasantville and Connie Arnburg of Decorah; his brother-in-law Bob Ross of Arizona; and his many adored nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter Lynne Marie McGonigle; his son-in-law Mac McGonigle; his brothers: Andrew (Darlene), Levi (Miriam) and Art Bird; his sisters: Ethel (Howard) James and Nellie Ross; his brothers-in-law: Gene Arnburg and Gary Crawford; his sister-in-law Janice Bird.