BIRD, JAMES MERRILL - 94, passed away August 19th, 2009 at Blount Memorial Hospital after suffering a stroke. He was born in the north Knoxville community of Dante on January 12, 1915, to Emily Jane and James Turner Bird. 

Preceded in death by his parents, sisters Ruth and Grace, and first wife Mildred Cox Bird. Survived by his wife, Georgia; brother Frank; children and their spouses, Marilyn (Stuart), Julia (Robert), and Jim (Becky); grandchildren, Russell (Kelie), Tabatha, Molly (Benjamin), and Megan; and great-grandchildren, Hayden, Noah, Lauren, and Leah. 

Mr. Bird graduated from Knoxville's Central High School and obtained his Masters degree in Animal Husbandry from the University of Tennessee. He served in the Navy during WW II, and was County Agent in both Knox, and Cocke Counties before moving to Oak Ridge in 1948, where he helped establish the UT Comparative Animal Research Laboratory. 

While in Oak Ridge, Mr. Bird was active in the First United Methodist Church and served as President of the Oak Ridge Hospital Board of Trustees. He was also active in the Lions Club in both Oak Ridge and Maryville and received the Melvin Jones award, the highest honor given by the Lions International Foundation. 

After retiring in 1978, he moved to Blount County, and joined Walland United Methodist Church where a celebration of his life will be held Saturday, August 22nd, at 10:30, with Rev. Eddie Collier and Rev. Harry Howard officiating. 

Visitation immediately following. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the church or Friends of the Smokies, P.O. Box 1660, Kodak, TN, 37764.