Dr. Richard Max Bird

November 5, 1932February 20, 2014
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Dr. Richard ”Dick” Max Bird

Dr. Richard “Dick” Max Bird, 81, passed away peacefully February 20, 2014 at his home in Cherry Valley, California. Dick was born into a family with 4 brothers and 1 sister ( Gene, Corki, Bob, Glen, and Martha). His parents, Etta and George, raised the family in their home in Hollywood Ca.

Dick graduated from John Marshal High School in 1950 where he was class president. In 1953 he joined The United States Air Force to serve in the Korean War. After returning from the war, he pursued the education that he so craved. In 1958 he earned his BSEE and BS in Math from California Polytechnic State University with studies in Electronics, Communications and Mathematics. In 1959 he earned his MSEE from U.C. Berkeley with studies in Communication, Networks, Computer Programming and Control Systems Theory. In 1962 he earned his MBA from UCLA with studies in Accounting and Finance, Management Theory and Operations Research. In 1969 he earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UCLA. In 1970 he cofounded Operating Systems, Inc. where he spent 7 years building the company to $4M in sales and 100 employees strong. He was President and Founder of Datafusion Corporation from 1979 to 1986 where he invented the Associative File Processor (AFP) and High Speed Search (HSTS) technologies which were considered the King of Search Engine Technology at the time. Using the AFP system he designed the most sophisticated information storage and retrieval system to be implemented at the time. It was delivered and installed at the CIA in Washington, D.C. in 1986. After 1986 he served as a consultant for some of the top Fortune 500 corporations around the country. From 1998 until 2008 he was a professor in the MBA program at Woodbury University in Burbank Calif.

During all of his pursuits he found time to be a loving husband, father, grandfather, and avid tennis player. He is survived by his wife of 36 years Sandra Bird, his daughters Audrey, Debbie and Jamie, and his grandchildren Joey, Shea, Connor and Trevor.

Graveside service will take place on Monday, March 3, 2014 at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, California 92518. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The American Hemochromatosis Society at

Arrangements were entrusted to Weaver Mortuary in Beaumont California.


  • Graveside Service Monday, March 3, 2014

Dr. Richard Max Bird

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January 26, 2015

So sad to hear of Dick's passing. He was such a beautiful, caring, and generous man. My sincerest (belated) condolences.
Madeline Fenner
San Diego, CA

Richard Conant

March 27, 2014

Richard and I have been friends since junior high school at Thomas Starr King (1944-1947). During our high school years (1947-1950) we enjoyed doing many things together, but a particular memory that we have looked back on with great pride was jointly establishing a new Y.M.C.A. Club. Hi Y Clubs were popular at this time and we were invited to become members of one or another of the existing clubs but chose to gather our friends together and establish a new one--the Hogans. The name came by way of a local "talk-show-disc-jockey", Jim Hawthorne, who was running a mythical campaign for President of the United States with a promise, if elected, to provide a "Hogan" in every pot. Thus, it was a popular name and the club became well established and flourished at John Marshall High School for many years. In 2002, in association with the Marshall class of 1952, Richard helped organize a grand reunion of old Hogans attended by Jim Hawthorne who came from Colorado and Bill Balance, another pioneering, Los Angeles, radio personality. Richard excelled at Marshall in academics, was a stand-out player in basketball, and a leader in his class serving as Senior Class President.

Although there were many years that we did not see one-another, we both served in the military, and both earned Ph.D. degrees. He continued his vigorous support of John Marshall High School through service on the Alumni Board and through helping to organize most of our class reunions. It was always special for me to get together with Richard at these reunions since we lived in Northern California.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Richard and Sandra since we relocated to Southern California in 2002. We have regularly gotten together throughout the years at our house, their house, Palm Springs, San Clemente, Newport Beach and other places when we could coordinate our calendars. I have served with Richard during recent years on the Marshall Class of Summer 1950 Reunion Committees which he has Chaired. He has been great to work with. He has always been a special friend. I will miss him dearly!

Richard Conant

March 27, 2014

Sandy & Family --
First impressions stay with you. We first knew Richard was a really good guy when we met at an HSCC Halloween Party. We knew he had a great sense of humor by the really great homemade costume he wore -- didn't he win a prize? Richard was friendly and wise -- okay, maybe even a bit of a wise guy (hee-hee). Though we didn't socialize on a personal level, we enjoyed his company whenever we were around him at HSCC events.
With Smiles & Good Memories of Richard,
Andrea & Al Lawrence

Sunny (The Dog) Bird

March 25, 2014

I miss you more than ever! You took care of me as one of the girls and I really miss you. You always took me to the dog park to play with my friends and walks across the street to run free. Mommy is doing a great job taking care of me now and I love her too but we really miss you!

Love You,

Audrey Overton

March 25, 2014

Dickie was the Best Dad anyone could wish for and a genuinely loving and caring person. He did believe that higher education was important to success in business. The one thing he shared with us girls was not to depend on a ‘Man' financially. He wanted us to finish our College education, get a job and then follow life's path as it leads us. He was always sharing the importance of higher education and he financially assisted many close family relatives and friends to continue their education.
Every year we had a family vacations and they were always really fun for the entire family. UCLA Camp Lair of the Bear, Lake Powell house boating, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, Virginia and more…
The birthday parties were pool parties at our home in Woodland Hills which all our friends always enjoyed every year.
Dickie was all about raising us girls to be very educated and independent. He believed in learning by doing parenting style where he enabled the girls to make the decisions with his guidance. One notable example was when he taught us how legal binding contracts work. He would give us cash for good grades and we would pay him cash for bad grades. A sample contract would include names of both parties, the cash for each grade and a signature line for both parties. (example of cash for each grade - A=$50, B=$25, C= $0, D= -$35, F= -$60). This was a great way to learn how contracts work and to motivate us to get good grades which worked very well.
He is already greatly missed! We love you!

March 25, 2014

Richard was a highly educated Man and wonderful Husband, Father, Grandfather and friend to many. He was an entrepreneur at heart and was always looking for that idea to help society. He was always joking with friends and family and spent a lot of time traveling the world with his consulting jobs. He was a great business mentor for his girls and was always interested in their jobs / successes.

Jerry & Rosa Masterson

March 25, 2014

Dearest Sandy, Audrey,Debbie & Jamie,
We know how difficult your Loss is. Richard took on a whole Family. And the love & Care shows today in the Life's of you Girls!! You were a family!
And know that to raise and nurture the Family that became his, speaks volume's how Blessed we all were to have known him!
So today we say Thank You for him
As god and his Angels welcomed him into his Eternal Light!!

Ron & Julieanne Case

March 25, 2014

Most of our memories involve the others at OSI. Like Richard buying a camera to take a picture of everyone and then Richard forgetting how the others are. Richard gets everyone to line up and Ray Pickler drew lines on the chalkboard behind the group and putting height measurements in. Ray is among the less tall and he labeled his line 6ft so everyone else came out taller!

Ron and Julieanne Case

March 25, 2014

The best way to describe Dick at OSI was that Dick was the straight man. He was great at that and laughed at the shenanigans by the rest of the crew. It was a crazy bunch there and there never was nor never will be a place like that to work again. It was one of kind, ahead of its' time. Dick was part of that. And like I said he was our straight man. And jokes and craziness doesn't work as well without a straight man. He was a good man, kind and caring. It showed. He loved working with hardware and I believe he was one of the men behind the development of the AXP along with JC Tue, the main architect of AXP. He worked hard on marketing that hardware.

Love,Light and laughter,
Ron & Julieanne Case


Rosemarie Peterson

March 25, 2014

I saw Richard almost every afternoon as I worked out in the clubhouse gym and watched him walking on the way to the spa. He always gave me a friendly "hello" wave. Seems like it was only yesterday the last time that I last saw him. Once the weather warms up and I go to use the spa, I will fondly think of Richard.