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BIRD, DEBRA E. (nee Bikman)

BIRD, DEBRA E. (nee Bikman)

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BIRD, DEBRA E. (nee Bikman)

BIRD, DEBRA E. (nee Bikman) - 66 of Petersburg, NJ passed away on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at her home. Debra is remembered as a woman who effortlessly balanced running a large household and multiple family-owned ventures, serving her church, and contributing to the community. Debra's Christ-like love and service were undeniable. She inspired and motivated others to achieve similar excellence. Debra was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada to Bill and Erma Bikman. She was the middle of three children. Her father was the son of Jewish Russian immigrants; her mother descended from Mormon Pioneers who trekked to the western United States pushing handcarts. Her father rose from nothing to become a successful businessman and prominent member of the community. Her mother was the ideal homemaker, successful entrepreneur, and golf hustler. Debra achieved success at a young age. She knit, modeled, and sold clothes in her mother's store, scored #1 in Alberta's matriculation exam, and excelled in athletics. She attended Brigham Young University where she majored in English and met her husband, Ronald Craig Bird. Debra and Craig had their first 8 kids while living primarily in Las Vegas, NV. In 1986, she and her family moved to Upper Township NJ, where they grew their family to 11 kids. In 1989, Debra designed and settled the family into their current home, which became known as the "Bird Compound," and as "Babba's house." Debra opened her home to family, friends, and the community and established it as a place that fully embraced the mantra "work hard, play hard." Countless neighborhood kids could tell stories of coming to play at the Bird's home, only to be Tom Sawyered. Her legacy lives on through her husband, 11 kids, 25 grandkids and counting, and the lives of all those whom she so deeply influenced. Til we meet again. Surviving are her husband, R. Craig Bird of Petersburg, NJ, 11 children, Valerie Bird of Utah, Ryan Bird of Texas, Darrin Bird (Becky) of Ocean View, NJ, Bandon Bird (Michael Ann) of Cherry Hill, NJ, Dallin Bird (Shannon) of Utah, Devin Bird (Lynette) of Petersburg, NJ, Lorin Bird (Brenda) of Seattle, WA, Marissa Jensen (Steve) of Utah, Logan Bird (Lauren) of Marshallville, NJ, Janelle Payne (Bryan) of Michigan, Alisha Bird of Utah, 25 grandchildren and counting, her parents, William and Erma Bikman, two brothers, Gary Bikman and Shane Bikman all of Canada. Her Funeral Service will be offered Thursday at twelve o'clock noon from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 624 Zion Road, Egg Harbor Township, NJ where friends may call from ten o'clock until the time of service. Burial will follow in Seaside Cemetery, Palermo, NJ. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to SHORE Education Fund in Debra's name to 5218 Atlantic Avenue Suite 300, Mays Landing, NJ 08330. For condolences to the family, visit www.godfreyfuneralhome.com.

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