James Cooper Bird, 74, died at his home on Sanibel Island, Florida, on Monday, February 15, 2016. He was an active member of the class, for a period serving as our president and helping arrange several reunions.

At Amherst Jim was psychology major and pledged Theta Delt. He was an outstanding athlete in high school and at Amherst.  “

“I got tackled by Jim more than once at Wilmington Friends when we played Baltimore Friends [Jim’s school] in the late '50s” remembered Bill Amend, who played with Jim at Amherst. “He'd put you down and then, with that wonderful quiet smile, offer you a hand to pick you out of the mud.”

The Friends School inducted Jim into their athletic Hall of Fame in 2014. Jim also played lacrosse at Amherst and was an avid tennis player throughout his life.

Shortly after graduation Jim entered the US Navy and served as a lieutenant till 1967. In 1965 he married Jandy Jones (Smith '65). Jandy died less than two years ago just short of their 50th Anniversary.

Jim and Jandy

After the Navy, Jim became a certified life insurance underwriter and worked for Prudential and US Life. In 1985, he changed careers to start up his own software company.

For 37 years Jim was active in St. George's-by-the-River Episcopal Church in Rumson, NJ, and later at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Sanibel, Florida, where he and Jandy retired in 2003.

Retirement gave Jim time to develop his interest in painting. At the 50th Reunion, Jim showed some of his watercolors in the class art exhibition.

Jim leaves two daughters, Marley Bird Maiers and her husband John of Hilton Head Island, and Laurie Bird Bratone and her husband Paul, and three grandchildren, James, Julia and Sophia of Fair Haven, NJ.

Neale Adams ’63