Cover photo for Richard F. Bird's Obituary
Richard F. Bird Profile Photo
1945 Richard 2022

Richard F. Bird

October 20, 1945 — December 23, 2022

Lt. Col. Richard F. Bird IV, U.S. Army Ret., 77, of Oregon, Ill., died Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. "Dick" was born Oct. 20, 1945, in Evergreen Park, Ill., the son of James Patrick and Margaret (Lanphear) Bird. Dick graduated from Mendel Catholic High School in Chicago, Class of 1964. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from DePaul University, then served his country for 20 years as a military police officer in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves. Dick married the love of his life, Bernadette Nagorka, on Oct. 23, 1971. He worked as a special agent in the criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service for more than 30 years, a job in which he took great pride. Dick had a lifelong love of toy trains and was known as "The Train Guy," with memberships in the Stateline "S" Gauge Club and Blackhawk Model Railroad Club. He took great pleasure in sharing his enthusiasm with others, especially younger generations. Dick was a devout Catholic, a member of St. Mary Oratory and a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Dick also served his community with the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Lion's Club International.


Dick is survived by his wife, Bernadette; his son, Richard (Hillary) Bird V; grandchildren, Eleanor and Amelia; brothers-in-law Mark (Karen) Nagorka and Michael (Sue) Gerberi; numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Dick was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Michael (Rita) Bird; and sister-in-law, Kathleen Gerberi.


Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, at St. Mary Oratory, 517 Elm St., Rockford, IL 61102. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. at the church. Dick will be buried at 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, with full military honors, at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, 20953 W. Hoff Road, Elwood, IL 60421. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary Oratory or American Legion Post 97, PO Box 597, Oregon, IL 61061.


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Service Schedule

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Visitation

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Burial

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

20953 West Hoff Road, Elwood, IL 60421

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