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Roberta Johnson Bird died Aug. 5, 2006, at the Odd Fellows Home in Walla Walla, Wash. She was 87.
Mrs. Bird was born June 15, 1919, in Wallowa to William E. and Laura B. Johnson. She graduated with honors from Wallowa High School in 1936. She walked the five miles to Wallowa High School and returned daily unless some kind person gave her a ride. This was during the Great Depression before school buses ran in the county. The Weinhard family of Wallowa was generous in this regard, and she valued their friendship all her life. Mrs. Bird continued her education in accounting at La Grande Business College, Walla Walla Vocational Technical School, and Walla Walla Community College.
After graduating from high school, Mrs. Bird was employed at the Wallowa County Creamery Association as office clerk. In 1946, she moved to Walla Walla and was employed at Walla Walla and Rogers Cannery as office clerk and traffic manager. For several years, she was associated with the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, and, in 1967, she began employment as payroll supervisor at the Washington State Penitentiary where she worked until her retirement in 1983.
Mrs. Bird was an active, respected and much-loved member of the Walla Walla Church of Christ where she taught Bible classes for many years. She spent much of her life helping those in need and was known for her compassion and generosity.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Max E. Bird; sisters, Bonnie Wilkening (Martin), Ruby Morgan (Orin) and Nancy Coyle; brothers, Dr. Walter Johnson and Dr. William E. Johnson and brother-in-law Maclyn Abbott, husband of Ruth.
She is survived by sisters Ruth Abbott of San Bernardino, Calif., Rachel Walker and husband S. Dean of Walla Walla, Wash. and June Johnson of The Dalles; brother Dr. Theodore Johnson and wife Donna of Seattle, Wash.; sisters-in-law, Nona Mae Johnson, wife of Walter, of Spokane, Wash., Erma Johnson, wife of William, of Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Wash., and brother-in-law, Walter C. Coyle, husband of Nancy, of Walla Walla, Wash.
A memorial service will be held at the chapel of Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, Wash., at 2 p.m., Aug. 18.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Walla Walla Church of Christ Building Fund or to a charity of donor’s choice in Mrs. Bird’s name.
Wallowa County Chieftain, Obituaries, August, 17, 2006