Through the miracle of Facebook I reconnected with my cousin,Kathy,who is three years my senior. Her brother Bob is a year older than I and a co-conspirator in many shenanigans back in the day. They also have a sister,Caryl and a brother,Bruce. We shared many a Sunday dinner at the farm and every Thanksgiving and Christmas were special.

After our grandfather passed,the tendrils that held all the family together were severed. I’ve not seen any of them for decades–call it almost a lifetime. Last Wednesday my cousin Bruce’s son,Bruce Jr. was killed in a terrible car wreck at a busy intersection in our city. I never met the young man,but he was blood of my blood. I cannot imagine for the life of me what I would do if I lost one of my children. All any of us can do is offer prayers to see the family through this time of hardship. The visitation is tonight and the reunion with my cousins and their families will be bittersweet,indeed.

I recall after Granny suffered a series of strokes dementia was setting in. She’d wander out of my aunt’s house and down the street in her nightgown and not tell the police where she lived. I went to take her to lunch one day and after we got in the car and started off,she looked at me and said “it’s just terrible to have to bury a child.” Bruce’s dad, my Uncle Ron, and my mother had both already passed. It was then I knew she wasn’t quite as far gone as she let on. She just liked being a pain in my aunt’s behind. I would like to ask you to remember our family in your prayers. I’m sure it would be a comfort to them.


10489915_10204333118758787_471177270293162053_n BRUCE R. BIRD JR., 31 MACHESNEY PARK – Bruce R. Bird Jr., 31, died unexpectedly Wednesday, July 16th, 2014. Bruce was a devoted loving father and a hard worker. He was a loyal Chicago Bulls and Bears fan and enjoyed watching many of the games with his dad. He enjoyed music, motorcycles and hanging out with friends and family. Bruce is survived by his father, Bruce R. Bird Sr.; brother, Joshua Bird; children, Shawn, Alyssa and Ayden; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandmother, Zella. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sandra. Bruce will be greatly missed by family and friends. A visitation to celebrate Bruce’s life will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Monday, July 21, 2014, at Sunset Funeral Home, 8800 N. Alpine Road in Machesney Park. A memorial for Bruce will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at 4188 Lakeside Dr., Rockford, in the Lakewood Hills Subdivision. Cremation rites will be accorded after the visitation. Condolences may be sent to the family at


Filed under Family & Friends

4 responses to “BRUCE R. BIRD JR., R.I.P.

  1. chrissythehyphenated

    Tears and prayers, Pete. Thank you for publishing this lovely tribute.


  2. Pistol Pete

    He’s the image of his dad.I’m never at a loss for words,but I don’t know if I can manage to say anything tonight.Just hug and share my families’ grief.Thats the essence of family,I guess.


  3. I’m so sorry for the family’s loss. May God comfort them all.