OBITUARY

Billie Ruth (Bettess) Bird

May 12, 1938April 4, 2021
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Billie Ruth Bettess Bird was born on May 12, 1938 and passed away peacefully on April 4, 2021. She is survived by her daughters, Laura Wallace (Steve), Laynie Bird-Schlachter (Jim) and Lisa Powell (Steve) and her grandchildren, Bruce Dunbar, Stephen Dunbar, Jessica Powell and Matthew Powell. She is also survived by her beloved Goffin’s cockatoo, Swayze, who was her faithful companion for the past 29 years.

Billie Ruth was born in Tulsa, OK and moved to Atlanta when she was three years old. She grew up in Morningside and graduated from Grady High School in 1952. Billie Ruth attended the University of Tennessee for two years where she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She returned to Atlanta to attend Emory University and to marry her high school sweetheart, George Tyler Bird, Jr. She graduated from Emory with a degree in biology and went on to work for the CDC as a microbiologist for over 40 years.

Billie Ruth was an avid bridge player. She played marathons, social bridge, duplicate and became a Gold Life Master. She took bridge cruises and went on yearly trips to Garden City to play bridge with friends by the beach. Whether she was playing socially with neighbors and friends or competitively in tournaments, she just loved playing. She passed along that love of the game by teaching others to play.

Billie Ruth enjoyed traveling and exploring new places. She had many amazing adventures during her life including rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon twice. Her travels took her to Costa Rica, Greece, South Africa, Australia, Rome, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Beijing just to name a few.

Billie Ruth loved living in Georgia. She loved going to Callaway Gardens, spending time on Cumberland Island and taking in the theatre at the Fox. She enjoyed cheering on the local sports teams including the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Falcons and most recently, Atlanta United.

Billie Ruth’s mother, Ruth Margaret Barr Bettess, was a Rosie the Riveter and worked in a factory during World War II. Billie Ruth, a Rosebud, was instrumental in setting up the first Rosie the Riveter chapter in Atlanta.

Billie Ruth’s guilty pleasures included MKO dogs at The Varsity, a shot of scotch with one ice cube, Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze, anything with Hugh Jackman, the music of Chris Botti, Game Show Network, American Ninja Warriors, watching tennis and a glass (or two) of bubbly at the holidays.

Private funeral services will be held. A celebration of life service for Billie Ruth will be available online via the H.M Patterson & Son - Arlington Chapel website. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Billie Ruth’s memory either to Eagle Ranch or Shallowford Presbyterian Church.

  • FAMILY

  • She is survived by her daughters, Laura Wallace (Steve), Laynie Bird-Schlachter (Jim) and Lisa Powell (Steve) and her grandchildren, Bruce Dunbar, Stephen Dunbar, Jessica Powell and Matthew Powell. She is also survived by her beloved Goffin’s cockatoo, Swayze, who was her faithful companion for the past 29 years.

Services

  • Private funeral services will be held however they will be livestreamed. Please choose the link.

    Sunday, April 11, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Billie Ruth (Bettess) Bird

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Robin McDonald

April 11, 2021

To Laura, Laynie and Lisa,
While I did not have the opportunity to know all of you, I wanted to share my sincerest condolences on your loss. Your mother was a friend and a teacher but what I will most remember about her was her love and pride in her family and her ability to fully enjoy her life no matter what was going on. Her joy was infectious and I just couldn't help sharing it when I was with her. She will be missed.
Robin McDonald

Carol & Alex Walker

April 11, 2021

A beautiful service. I loved hearing the stories of the family vacations, plays and outings. God's Peace to you and your family, Laynie.

Everngelista Chakanyuka

April 11, 2021

A sweet loving and caring woman, is what I found out in you.

May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Eve

Bonnie Armer

April 10, 2021

Laura, Laynie, Lisa, my condolences on the loss of your mother. It was my loss too as we met in Kindergarten at Morningside Elementary School thus making long term friends. Today I'm missing her call on my birthday to rib me about being older (for a month). I'm proud of her for making such a gracious, gentle exit. I'm not surprised since it becomes her.

As Mother's Day approaches I step up to remind you three how fiercely she loved each of you and how proud she was of you. In recent calls she also spoke of her pleasure and excitement about engagements among her grandchildren. She was concerned about travel without getting on a plane. Know that she will be there in spirit - beaming.

Peace and love to you all. Bonnie Richardson Armer

Antionette Fann

April 8, 2021

Ms. Bird was a joy to be around. I enjoyed visiting her and looking at game shows with her. She gave me so much knowledge that I apply at home. I will miss her dearly. May her soul rest in peace.

-Shae

Peggy Heinisch

April 7, 2021

I knew your mother thru bridge. I am also a member of SPC. Mostly, I want to convey sympathy and to give a huge shoutout to whoever wrote Billie Ruth's obit and orchestrated the video . Both of them were terrific.

Yvette Spears

April 6, 2021

So sorry to hear of your loss! Thinking of you and your family duringthis difficult time.

Julie Shackford

April 6, 2021

Lisa, Steve and Family,

I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom. I am lifting you up in prayer and ask that God provides you comfort knowing that your Mom is now at peace in his loving arms. I send love and prayers to you all.

Julie Shackford

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