Sunday, September 09, 2012

Gary Bird 1950-2001

REPOSTED: because I will never forget.

He was a corporate cowboy. Gary Bird worked in risk management, but his great joy was riding horses. He was practically born in the saddle. His mother was riding horses when she was eight months pregnant with him, until her doctor stopped her.

He lived in Tempe, Ariz., where he kept three quarter horses. He rode as often as he could, including multiday trail rides. His wife, Donna Killoughey Bird, and two children, Amanda, 15, and Andrew, 13, rode, too, but Mr. Bird was the avid one.

If he wasn't surrounded by open spaces, he would get edgy. In 1984, he was in New York for four days to attend a conference. By the fourth day, he told his wife, "I'm really claustrophobic here, because I can't see the horizon." As she put it, "It was a case of `don't fence me in.' "

Gary Bird moved to Tempe, AZ in 1973. He had a successful career in Risk Management, 12 yrs with Phelps Dodge Corp. Authored a book “TheWrap-Up Guide”, the authoritative work on the installation and operation of controlled insurance programs published by International Risk Management Institute (IRMI).

Mr. Bird was active in the community. He helped found the first Boys and Girls Club in Tempe in the early 1980’s. Served on the Tempe Planning and Zoning Commission and the Tempe Industrial and Development Board. He was active with the Friends of the Tempe Butte organization, helped plan and direct youth swim meets.

Gary Bird had just been promoted to Vice President at Marsh Inc, was on the 99th floor, Tower 2, WTC attending a meeting on his 2nd day as VP.

He is survived by his wife Donna, daughter Amanda, and son Andrew.

I guess to really honor him, we should go ride a horse.


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