MARBLEHEAD, Ohio — Thomas J. Bird, a former teacher and retired pipefitter at the Sandusky Delphi Corp. plant who served on the Marblehead board of public affairs, died Sunday in Magruder Hospital, Port Clinton. He was 62.
His sister and Marblehead Mayor Jacqueline Bird, said he died suddenly from what she believes was congestive heart failure. She said he underwent a heart procedure last week in Toledo Hospital, but was feeling well.
“He said it was like a miracle when he came home from the hospital because he was feeling so much better,” she said.
Mr. Bird was in the middle of his third term on the village board of public affairs, serving as president of the three-member panel that oversees the operations of the village water plant and distribution system.
“He really enjoyed serving the community,” she said.
Holding public office runs in the Bird family. Mr. Bird’s father, the late Robert Bird, was Marblehead mayor from 1956 to 1980 and also had been a councilman. Miss Bird currently is in her third term as mayor.
Mr. Bird took an early retirement in 2006 from the Delphi plant, a former General Motors facility that made bearings. He was a plumber and pipefitter in the plant foundry.
“After that he got involved with the village and got active with the board of public affairs,” Mayor Bird said. “He was always a strong supporter for any village event and fund-raisers for the police and fire departments.
She said he donated the bikes that were given away each Christmas at the annual tree lighting and provided the eggs for the annual Easter egg hunts.
“He would help anyone who was in need," she said.
He grew up in Marblehead, attended St. Joseph Catholic School, and graduated in 1968 from Danbury High School, where he played football and baseball. He continued at Bowling Green State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in business.
He taught for five years at North Ridgeville Schools and was an assistant coach for the high school football team. He quit teaching in 1978 to go to work at the GM plant.
His sister said he worked at Danbury Schools as a substitute teacher when he was laid off from work at Delphi.
A musician, Mr. Bird played the piano and organ and was a fan of 1970s and 1980s rock bands.
“Tom had a deep love of music. That was a big part of his life,” said friend John Starcher. “He always joked that the Rolling Stones were his favorite band because they were the same age as him.”
Surviving is his sister, Jacqueline Bird.
Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in Neidecker, LeVeck & Crosser Funeral Home, Peninsula Chapel, 7755 E. Harbor Rd. Lakeside—Marblehead.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph Catholic Church, Marblehead, where visitation will be one hour before services.
The family suggests tributes to St. Joseph Catholic Church, Marblehead Volunteer Fire Department, or the Village of Marblehead Police Association.