Sun Bird

Obituary of Sun Im Bird

                                                           In Loving Memory of Sun Im Bird (née So)

                                                              June 9, 1946 - February 20, 2023


Sun Im Bird (née So), age 76, of Melbourne, FL,  passed away surrounded by love in the presence of her family on February 20, 2023 after battling a long illness.   Born in South Korea on June 9, 1946 to her mother and father Yang Yae Kim and Jin Bum So, she was lovingly known as Hicha (Hee Ja) by her closest friends and family.  She worked at the army base in Dongducheon in 1971 where she met her yeobo (sweetheart) and husband of 50 years, John C. Bird III, while he was serving in South Korea.  They were married in 1973 at the Bird family home in Wharton, New Jersey by their beloved pastor, Paul L. Virkler, and shared a Christ-centered lifetime together.  

Sun’s life was a living example of one of her favorite verses, 1 Peter 1:3.  She truly was her family’s guiding light and a genuine friend to many.  If you wanted the unadorned truth about anything- she would give it to you!  Her life was not always easy, but it was honest, generative, and transformed many generations through her maiden journey with her husband to the United States.  She was a fiercely protective mother and worked her whole life in factories to provide a better future and opportunities for her children and beyond.  

She had an inner knowing and outer directness that was inspiring, steady, strong, often hilarious and sometimes misunderstood.  She loved to laugh and was the force that held her family together through triumphs and tragedy.  Out of deep sorrow and loss she cultivated and radiated an incredible living hope, creating nourishing abundance from seemingly little.  Her generosity of spirit touched so many and if you were stingy with her or downright awful, she always stood up for herself with dignity and fire.  

Sun wished she could have attained higher education for herself and she loved learning new things, traveling when she could, gardening in every unused corner of the yard.  Cooking and sharing delicious food was just one way she showed her love to many and transmitted Korean culture and ways of knowing.   Her famous carrot cake is iconic of her ability to fold love and care into something delicious for everyone.  She was often happiest preparing and eating her amazing dishes with our whole family gathered around the table, laughing and celebrating and enjoying each other, begging her to finally sit down.  She was deeply loving and touched us all with her wonderful, beautiful heart and strongest, gentlest hands.  Within this abundant and beautiful life she created, she longed to one day be reunited with her son John, and we find comfort in knowing they are together again. We miss them every day.  

Sun was preceded in death* and welcomed home by her beloved only son, John C. Bird IV, her parents Yang Yae Kim and Jin Bum So, mother and father-in-law Nettie Bird and John C. Bird Jr., sister-in-law Laurie Bird, sister-in-law Donna Bird, and brother-in-law David Bird.  

She is survived by her devoted husband, John C. Bird III of Melbourne, FL, daughter Andrea Elizabeth Bird of Hillsborough, NC, and two precious, loving grandsons Francisco and Loren McKinley who brought her so much joy, pride, and laughter.

Brothers and Sisters by blood and love:


Brothers (& Wives)

Jo Young & K. Choi So

Kwang Young & Cho Sek So

Joo Young & Soon Ok So

Joon Young & Eun Kyung So


Sisters (& Husbands)

Chun Ja & Young Ju Shin

Sang Young & Sang Hung Lee

Ok Hee & Duk Hyun Son


Brothers-In-Law (& Wives)

William Bird

David* & Cheryl Bird

Larry & Patricia Bird

Kevin & Donna* Bird

Timothy & Michele Bird


Sisters-In-Law (& Husband)

Penny & Alex Negrin

Heather Bird


Nieces & Nephews: 

Jung Eun So, Jung Ha So, Jae Hun So, Sung Hyun So, Sang Yong So, Sung Hee Shin, Kum Hee Shin, Sang Young Shin, Sang Jun Shin, Hong Jin Lee, Eun Jung Lee, Edward So, Elizabeth So, Charles Son, Helen Ha, Lindsey Son, Gina Son, Jennifer So, Michael So, Shannon Holsonback, Elizabeth Bird, Rose Bird, Melissa Sherfey, Kevin Bird Jr., Jenifer Bird, Timothy Bird Jr. , Brianna Bird, Kaitlyn Sikorski, Justin Bird, Samantha Hantis, Merrick Thibault, and Jack Thibault


Please join us to celebrate Sun’s life and legacy:

Monday, February 27, 4-6pm 

Officiated by Rev. Yeo Kag Youn

Korean Central Baptist Church of Melbourne

2177 Meadowlane Avenue

West Melbourne, FL 32904


Monday, March 6, 4-6pm

Officiated by Rev. Ryon Harin 

Wharton United Community Church

20 Church Street

Wharton, NJ  07885  


Interment of ashes the following day for all who wish to attend

Officiated by Rev. Sarah Green 

Locust Hill Cemetery 

168 N. Sussex Street

Dover, NJ  07801


In lieu of flowers, donations can also be sent “In memory of Sun Bird” to Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation, 4676 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32935