MERIDIAN, Idaho — Flags at all Meridian city buildings are flying at half-staff in memory of Keith Bird, who died Friday at the age of 77.
Bird served five terms on the Meridian City Council. He retired at the end of 2017, the same year Keith Bird Legacy Park was built near Chinden Boulevard and Ten Mile Road. It's one of the most recent additions to a park system that Bird helped develop during his decades of service to what is now Idaho's second most populous city.
Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd remembers Bird as a big advocate for children and young adults.
"I don't think there's too many kids that grew up in Meridian who didn't know Keith Bird - either as a coach or as their biggest fan," de Weerd said.
Bird was born on February 18, 1941, in Nampa. From the time he and his wife Marjorie moved to Meridian in 1965, he was an advocate for youth activities, including Optimist Football, Y basketball, American Legion Baseball, and the Meridian Dairy Show Board.
"He bled Meridian," de Weerd said. "He was a huge advocate for the youth in our community in pretty much all things that were youth-related."
Bird was voted Meridian's Man of the Year in 1996, and received the Mayor's Legacy Award in 2009.
Mayor de Weerd considers Bird a mentor. She said Monday that she sat next to him on "many different things for the last 23 years," and remembers him as a very animated man who always had an opinion, but was always gracious when a decision didn't go his way.
"He was a team player, and once a decision was made, he moved forward with the group," de Weerd said. "He really (was) passionate about Meridian, and I think you could say that the city that we have today was due in large part to his passion, his vision, and his hard work."
A funeral service is scheduled for noon Saturday at Meridian Middle School. There will also be a public viewing from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday at Alsip and Persons Funeral Chapel, located at 404 10th Avenue South in Nampa.