Kenneth Oscar Bird

July 9, 1946February 1, 2016

Kenneth O. Bird, 69, of Staunton, died Monday, February 1, 2016 surrounded by his dedicated loving family, after a long hard battle with Mesothelioma cancer. Mr. Bird was born on July 9, 1946 in Logan, WV, a son of the late Arthur P. and Mary Miller Chatfield Bird. Mr. Bird served his country honorably, in the United States Navy, during the Vietnam War aboard the U.S.S. Vulcan AR-5. After leaving the Navy, he was employed by the Seaboard Coastline Railroad, in 1970, where he became a Locomotive Engineer. During his railroad career, he received safety awards and pins of merit for his dedicated service. In 2006 after 36 years of service, he retired from CSX Railroad. While working for the railroad, Kenneth and his wife, Eleanor, established a National Certified Tree Farm. After retirement, Kenneth established “Deer Park Tree Farm”, where he and his wife started selling trees and shrubs at the Staunton- Augusta Farmer’s Market. He was a true “Tree Hugger”. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his younger brother, Bradley Arron Bird and a brother-in-law, Roger Cooper. Surviving is the love of his life, Eleanor Braxton Cochran Bird, whom he married on April 29, 1978; a son, Michael David Bird and his wife, Christine; three daughters, Veronica Lewis, and her husband, Dean, Anna Williams, and her husband, John, Theresa Lewis, and her husband, Andy; seven wonderful grandchildren, Kaleb, Issac, Sarah, Athan, Randall, Carter and Cassie; a very special brother, Lawrence Arthur Bird and his wife, Emmajane; two brothers-in-law, Joseph Smith Cochran III and his wife, Inez and Douglas Flanigan Cochran and his wife, Karen; sister-in-law, Mildred Cochran Cooper and twelve nieces and nephews. Before Ken’s health declined, he and his wife thoroughly enjoyed riding their bicycles on the by ways and rail trails throughout the state of Virginia. He was also an avid fly fisherman, casting his line on many lakes, rivers and streams throughout the eastern United States. Kenny was a long time member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the American Legion, the American Tree Farm System and the Staunton Historical Society. He also served on the Steering Committee of Staunton-Augusta Farmer’s Market. He was a long time member of Trinity Episcopal Church, he enjoyed serving where needed. He felt being a member of this church family was a true blessing. A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 214 W. Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401, with The Rev. Paul Nancarrow and Rev. Shelby Ochs Owen officiating. Burial to follow at Thornrose Cemetery with military honors. Following the burial, everyone is invited back to the church for a Celebration of Life Service and Fellowship. Active Pallbearers will be Paul Bradley, Charles Schooley, Thomas Trykowski, Chapman Williams, David Wise and Thomas Womack. Honorary Pallbearers will be Donald Flower, M.D., Captain U.S. Navy Ret., John P. Wilkinson, Cmdr, U.S. Navy Ret., Theodore Cathey, Lt. Col., U.S. Army Jag. Ret., Michael Albanese, Senior Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Ret., Joseph Vecchioli, USN, and Carol Brown, USN. The family would like to give a very loving heartfelt thank you to Dr. Todd Wolf, Kathleen Hayden NP, the caring and compassionate nurses at UVA Hope Cancer Center; Dr. Margaret C. Siman, Stephanie RN and staff for all their compassionate caring; the very loving, supportive, caring and kind group at Hospice of the Shenandoah; a wonderful caregiver, faithful and loving friend, Pam Mathews RN and a great spiritual guide helping Ken in his journey, Hospice Chaplain Mark Westebbe. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 208, Staunton, VA 24402, and/ or The Shenandoah House, P.O. Box 1000, Fishersville, VA 22939. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Staunton Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes. Relatives and friends may share condolences and memories with the family online by visiting



  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, February 6, 2016


  • Interment, Officiating


Kenneth Oscar Bird

have a memory or condolence to add?


February 27, 2017

I love you Dad

Anna Bird

April 11, 2016

I miss you dad always, your daughter Anna

S.L. Talbert

March 11, 2016

I did not know Ken, but knew his wife Eleanor many years ago, back when she was a 9th floor? nurse at (what was then) MCV in Richmond, VA.. She liked big cats and drove (I believe?) a gold mustang, and always had a disposition like warm sunlight. I am glad she had many years with a very kind-faced man who obviously loved nature rather than the cities, and is blessed with many children and grandchildren (and I expect there are some cats around, too). I would tell her now to remember what she surely knows: God's blessing does not end with death! God is Life, and surely He will continue with His blessing and Grace thruout her days. May God bear all your burdens, Eleanor !!

February 9, 2016

Ellie, Mike, and Family - So sorry to learn of Ken's passing. Please know you are in my prayers. Sincerely, Doug Snyder

Colin Chatfield

February 8, 2016

The Chatfield Hamily History Society offer condolences to the family. A real coincidence as Kenneth's parents were a Bird and Chatfield whereas mine were a Chatfield and a Bird.
Colin Chatfield

Gail Dunn

February 7, 2016

Our prayers and thoughts are with you in this sad time. We were so blessed to have Ken with us. He will be missed by many. Gail and Richard

February 4, 2016


Bob and Terry Boyle

February 4, 2016

Dear Bird Family,

We pray that you find peace and comfort in your cherished memories of Ken. Keep care.

Chrystal Little

February 4, 2016

Mike and Christine ~ We are so sorry for your loss. Prayers to you for comfort and peace at this time.
Steve & Chrystal Little


February 4, 2016

My husband and I were so surprised and sadden to read this morning of Ken's passing. We meet he and Eleanor at the Staunton Farmers Market. Their knowledge of trees was wonderful and lead to him planting one of my favorite trees. every time we ride past your home, I remember our wonderful talk and his kindness. Now, even more so, I will cherish that memory. Our condolences to the family. Sue & Yogi