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)
David* & Cheryl Bird
Larry & Patricia Bird
Kevin & Donna* Bird
Timothy & Michele Bird
Sisters-In-Law (& Husband)
Penny & Alex Negrin
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