JIMMY BIRDSONG

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April 27, 1925 - February 9, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY Former State Senator Jimmy Birdsong died at home with his devoted family by his side on Saturday, February 9, 2013, after an illness. He was born on April 27, 1925 in Little Rock, Arkansas and moved to Oklahoma City as a young boy. A lifelong South Oklahoma City resident and member of the Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Jimmy was preceded in death by his wife Martha, his son Jimmy, his parents J.E, and Jewell Birdsong, and late son-in-law Kenneth Brown. He is survived by his daughter Nancy Brown; four grandchildren, Stacye, and husband Jimmy Sconce and Jamie, and husband Daniel Smith, former daughter-in-law Pam Birdsong-Barnett Jesse and David Birdsong, 6 great grandchildren, Dakotah, and Rhyann Sconce, Lofton, and Layden Pearson, Kaegan, and Maelyn Smith. Jimmy served in the U.S Army during WWII, he was in the Third Army Infantry Division. One February 1, 1945 at the age of 19, five miles inside Germany, he was severely wounded by a sniper with a 30 caliber bullet while he was trying to tend to two comrades who were wounded. Jimmy was saved from death by a miracle. He was carrying a steel-plated Bible in the breast pocket of his uniform that was given to him by his mother. Jimmy never went to combat without it, and instead of the bullet entering his chest, and hitting his heart, it ricochet and came out his right arm. Three ribs were shattered by the sniper bullet, and he lay in the street for two hours in the snow before help came. Once help arrived, before leaving a soldier handed him a gold watch with the snipers initials engraved on the back side of it. He still had this watch even to this day, as a reminder. Jimmy was hospitalized in England and France before returning to the U.S. Presidential citation was given to his unit, and he was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, ETO Ribbon, and Three Battle Stars. One month after his discharge he enrolled as a full time student at The University Of Oklahoma, and working as a Police Office for the Oklahoma City Police Department at night. He then went on to be the first graduating class at OCU with a Law Degree. He practiced Law for 35 years, by owning and operating his own Law firm. In 1965 he ran, and was elected into the Oklahoma State Senate District 45, where he served until 1981. He became the Assistant Majority Floor Leader in 1969-1972, and Majority Floor Leader in 1973-1974. During his terms in Senate he authored, and passed over 100 bills that became laws which are still active today. Including the Self Defense Act, and was instrumental in creating the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. (OBN) Jimmy was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He traveled extensively throughout his years with his wife, Martha and his children. He loved to fish in remote locations, and golf. He took up a hobby with race horses, following them across the U.S, and his horse Exotic Diamond won Quarter Horse of the year. He retired in 2002, and moved to Lake Eufaula only to return to Oklahoma City in 2007 to continue enjoying his retirement living closer to his family. Jimmy blessed so many lives, and brought so much joy into our family, and loved us unconditionally. He left behind a wonderful legacy, and we couldn't have been blessed with a better soul. He was a man who brought truth to the saying "live life to the fullest." Visitation held 4-8 PM Thursday, February 14, 2013, at the funeral home. Services to celebrate his life will be 2:00 PM Friday, February 15, 2013, at the South Lakes Chapel with burial following at Resthaven Memory Gardens Mausoleum. Friends may leave condolences at www.vondelsmithmortuary.com

Published in The Oklahoman on Feb. 14, 2013
bullet Army bullet Bronze Star bullet Purple Heart bullet WWII
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