Linda Naughton Bird
March 29, 1956 – April 5, 2015
Linda Naughton Bird passed away peacefully in her Pittsboro home on April 5, 2015 with her beloved husband Joe at her side. She spent the majority of her life serving the students, parents and teachers of the North Carolina school system. She received her college education to become a teacher from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in 1978. She attained her Master of Arts degree from the North Carolina Central University in 1991. For the next 29 + years she worked in middle and high schools in Durham and Wake counties.
She dedicated her life to the strong commitment of strengthening and improving the lives of every person she taught and worked with as a physical education teacher, coach, and eventually the principal of Davis Drive Middle School in Cary, NC. As the principal, Linda was generous with her time and resources and made sure that all of her teachers had everything they needed to be successful. Her athletic career as a basketball player gained her a scholarship to IUP. It helped provide the drive to excel in an educational career that required many long hours whether on the court or in the halls of the schools. Her faith in Jesus Christ and the prayers of so many family and friends gave her the perseverance and endurance to fulfill this mission in life.
Linda was in love and married to Joe for all of the years that God gave them together. Linda met Joe at IUP in 1976 when they both attended a weekend Christian retreat. They married in 1977 and both earned their teacher certifications at IUP. When Joe asked Linda where she wanted to go to teach, Linda said, “Anywhere in the south, where it’s warm”. So they travelled to North Carolina to start their careers. During the early years, Linda and Joe coached girls’ basketball teams at schools in Durham. Their teams often played against each other, but no matter who won, they always enjoyed a late meal together at the family restaurant in Cary. For a sanctuary from school, Linda and Joe enjoyed vacations during Easter spring break in either a desert or a beach to marvel at the beauty God provided.
Linda was just as strong in her fight with the two types of cancer she battled from 2006 to 2015. She met the challenges of this disease that took her physical strength, eyesight and most of her hearing with courage and determination and the promise that God would give her the grace to persevere. For “blessed is a women who perseveres under trial; for once she has been approved, she will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12.
Linda is survived by her husband of 37 years, Joseph Bird Jr., her parents, Donald and Joyce Naughton, her sisters, Deborah and Denise, her brother, Bruce, Goddaughter, Katie, her nieces, Heather, Elizabeth, Taylor, Michaela, Victoria, and her nephew Jesse.
A memorial service will be held 3:00pm, Sunday, June 14 at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Pittsboro, NC. Memorial gifts may be made to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center or the charity of your choice.