|Birth: ||Aug. 27, 1931, Guam|
|Death: ||Aug. 25, 2009|
South Carolina, USA
Neale Eldridge Bird, a long-time resident of Charleston, died August 25, 2009, in Mt. Pleasant.
Neale was born August 27, 1931 in Guam, Mariana Islands, where his father, Cornelius Johnson Eldridge, a Captain in the U. S. Marine Corps, had a tour of duty from 1930 to 1932. Cornelius J. Eldridge died and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 1936.
Two years later, Elizabeth Eldridge married Major Samuel Kennerly Bird, and when Neale was fifteen, his name was legally changed to Neale Eldridge Bird.
Neale received a presidential appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1953. The Naval Academy yearbook included the following quotes about Neale: "He was a powerful varsity swimmer for Navy, could make a polar bear look bad, and "Another Einstein when it came to anything mechanical, but he didn't put in much time on the books."
He received a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. While serving in Vietnam he received the Bronze Star, a Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry with Palm.
In 1956 he met Glenna Mae Morrison, a native of Washington, DC, and proposed six weeks later. They were married in the chapel at Parris Island on November 3, 1956. He and his wife have lived on James Island since 1975.
After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1973, he attended graduate school at North Carolina State University and received a Masters degree in Coastal Engineering. Upon graduation, Neale and his family moved to Charleston when Neale became an Engineer for the S.C. Coastal Council. Neale continued to work with the Coastal Council until he retired again in 1995. He continued to be an athlete throughout his life. He was an outstanding golfer and runner having completed the first Cooper River Bridge Run. Neale also returned to competitive swimming and competed in the Master's Swim program and won many gold medals until he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease.
He is survived by his wife, Glenna Bird of Charleston, his son, Neale E. Bird, Jr. and wife Maureen M. Bird of Abingdon, VA; his daughter Carolyn L. Bird-Whitley and husband R. Bryan Whitley of Charleston; and his daughter Leslie Bird Torre and husband Joseph Torre of Jonesboro, GA; four grandsons: David C. Whitley and Samuel M. Whitley; John C. Bird, Joseph E. Bird; and one granddaughter, Caroline E. Bird.
Cornelius Johnson Eldridge (____ - 1936)
Grace Episcopal Church Columbarium
South Carolina, USA
Created by: Just another taphophile
Record added: Aug 26, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41201211
Proud to be in '53|
Added: Sep. 11, 2012
Thank you for your great service in preserving our country's freedoms. I will honor you in the only way that I can . . . by remembering you always. May you rest in peace knowing that you truly embodied the ideals of "Duty, Honor, Country."|
Charles A. Lewis
Added: Aug. 25, 2012
Thank you Sir for your honored service to our great country. May you now rest in eternal peace always. I wish for you a Happy Heavenly Birthday and a joyous Homecoming.|
Added: Aug. 27, 2009