Our sweet mother, Paula Lee Fairbanks Bird, passed away on Monday, August 31, 2020 after her struggle with cancer. She was born to Harold and Norma Redd Fairbanks on August 7, 1948 in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was the oldest of their five children. Her family emigrated to the United States after she graduated from high school. While her parents settled in Saugus, California, Paula bravely headed off to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah on her own. She met Terry Donald Bird and they were married for 12 years. They had five children together. Paula raised her children in Ventura, California with the support of a loving network of family and friends in the Ventura Stake and community.
Paula was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As an accomplished and gifted pianist and organist, she gave her exquisite talent, time, and boundless energy throughout her entire life to the music of not only the LDS church in Ventura, California and Santa Clarita, but also the United Methodist Church of Ventura, California for decades. Over the years, Paula instilled the love of music to hundreds of piano students. She not only wanted to give them all something to be proud of in themselves, but more than that, music was something that her students could share and give to the world. Her inspiring piano lessons were uniquely infused with life lessons. Paula loved her piano students and their families so much and they loved her in return. She was always reading a book, learning more about human nature, and making connections with people. She loved cooking and baking, putting a puzzle together, participating in politics, traveling, drawing, and creating, shopping, and had an eye for fashion that was incomparable. She loved endlessly, saw the best in everyone, and gave all of the people that she came in contact with a sense of belonging and value. She was utterly Christ-like in her actions and eagerness to serve others. She never passed up a good deal and often kept a cold, bean burrito in her purse-for emergencies! Her no nonsense attitude, zest for life, resilience, integrity, and unconditional love will never be forgotten or matched. As a Mother, she sacrificed everything, and her children were her highest priority. She taught them to love deeply, work hard, and be grateful always. Her children love her more than anything.
Paula is survived by four outstanding siblings: Stephen Fairbanks (Toni), Nena La Bass (Bob), Roger Fairbanks (Suzie), and John Fairbanks (Connie). She is also survived by her five devoted and adoring children: Jodi Kinslow (Stephen), Dallin Bird (Vilma), Jason Bird, Ruth Bird-Nulph (William), and Trisha Jacobs Edmund (Spencer). Her 16 beautiful grandchildren: Taylor, Grant (Dani), Haley, Parker, and Elle Kinslow, Liany (Carson) and Carter Bird, Bentley Bird and Kodie Scott, Haylie, Xavier, and Eleanora Nulph, and Macy, Boston, Bauer, and Charly Jacobs also survive her. They are the luckiest children in the world to have had the most attentive, loving, and nurturing Grandma.
She is preceded in death by wonderful parents, Harold Junior and Norma Redd Fairbanks and by her former spouse, Terry Donald Bird.
Services to celebrate Paula Bird’s life will be held on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center on 4517 Mille Lacs Drive in South Jordan, Utah. The viewing will take place prior to the funeral, from 11:30am-12:30pm. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the funeral will be by invitation only and will begin at 1:00pm. A graveside service will be held at 3:30pm at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 E. Dimple Dell Rd. in Sandy, Utah, also by invitation only. After the graveside service, a private family luncheon will be held at 11038 S. Braidwood Dr. in South Jordan, Utah.
The family would love to see everyone dressed in happy, vibrant colors because we know that our Mother would have wanted it exactly that way! We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and support that our family has felt at this time.