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"A bad day fishing is better than a good day working."
Known as "Wayne" to family and friends, Charles Wayne Bird went home to the Lord 13 days before his 79th birthday.
Wayne passed away at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Washington, on March 14, 2013, at 6:46 p.m. of complications following surgery on February 26, 2013.
Wayne was born in Arkansas City, Kansas, on March 27, 1934, to Charles Ray and Edna Mae (Jenkins) Bird.
Wayne was raised in Kansas, attending high school in Winfield, Kansas, and serving in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956, attaining the rank of quartermaster II.
Wayne attended college in Kansas and Casper, Wyoming, and received an associate degree in business.
Wayne was the grandson of original Choctaw enrollee John Jenkins.
After serving in the Navy, Wayne moved to Casper for a short time. He lived in and out of Iowa for a few years until 1970 and then settled in Moline, Illinois, for the remainder of his Kirby career.
Wayne was married to Darlene (Hinz) Bird from 1962 to 1980. They raised three children together, Kimberly, David and Linda, while primarily residing in Moline.
Wayne married his surviving spouse, Marleen (Truax/Weber) Bird, in 1985. In 1985, Wayne and Marleen moved from Casper to Bullhead City, Arizona, for 3½ years, then moved to the Pacific Northwest and settled in their present home between Sequim and Port Angeles.
Wayne spent most of his working life in sales and was a Kirby distributor for 20 years. He then became a "Hot Shot" truck driver, owning Bird's Trucking Inc. in Casper before retirement in 1982.
Wayne was active in the Sequim Elks Lodge 2642 and was a member of the International Footprint Association, Sequim chapter, and the National Rifle Association.
Everyone who knew Wayne knew that he was an avid fisherman. He always owned at least one boat and also enjoyed "crabbing." He not only loved to fish salt and fresh water, but loved to share the "catch" with family and friends.
Wayne and Marleen's favorite annual fishing trip together was in June at Lake Roosevelt in Eastern Washington.
Wayne had a wonderful sense of humor and was a great joke- and storyteller. He enjoyed following the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners games.
He was also an avid reader and TV watcher, and loved listening to "oldies" and country western music.
Wayne was a terrific dance partner, as long as it was fox trot or jitterbug.
Wayne especially loved good home cooking, and his favorite restaurant choices were Chinese or Mexican.
Wayne loved their springer spaniel, Booch, who died in 1998, and their present dog, Roscoe, and he took them every day to visit friends.
Wayne's favorite saying was: "You can do anything you want in this life, as long as you are willing to pay the price." He lived this philosophy all of his life.
Wayne especially enjoyed his large and extended family, and was very proud of his children, stepchildren, grandchildren and stepgrandchildren.
Wayne was a kind, funny, happy, "positive thinking" man, and will be fondly remembered and missed by his many friends and loved ones.
Loved ones Wayne leaves behind include his wife, Marleen, at their home on the Peninsula; his three children, Kimberly Benham in Casper, David Bird and his wife, Kris, of Irvine, California, and Linda Spaulding in Casper; grandchildren Alicia Bird, Kelsey Bird, Zachary Bird, Christopher Wrasper and Brittney Benham; one sister, Dorothy Jean (Bird) Jelinek of Casper; sister-in-law Virginia Bird of Jacksonville Beach, Florida; brother-in-law Glenn Norton of Casper; and several beloved nieces and nephews.
Wayne is also survived by stepsons Lon Weber and his wife, Annie, Lane Weber and his wife, Devota, and Cory Weber, serving in the U.S. Navy; former stepdaughter-in-law Sharlene (Sabatine) Weber; stepgrandchildren Joshua Weber and his wife, Wendy, Kali Weber, Derek Weber and Danielle Weber; and stepgreat-granddaughter Keira Weber.
Wayne was predeceased in death by his parents, Charles Ray and Edna Bird; his sister Wilma Jean Norton; and his brother, Herrell Bird.
A celebration of life is being planned for sometime in June at the Elks Lodge in Sequim.
Cremation is being handled by Linde-Price Funeral Service in Sequim.
Wayne wished his ashes to be scattered near Protection Island near one of his favorite fishing holes.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation, M/S S-200, P.O. Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145-5005.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Mar. 31, 2013