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Dr. Patricia E. Pacey (Thornton) Bird


Dr. Patricia E. Pacey (Thornton) Bird
Bird, Dr. Patricia E. Pacey (Thornton)

Patricia (Tish) Pacey Bird died on Sunday, March 21, 2010 at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital. She was born on June 11, 1946, in Fredericton, N.B., the third child of Mary and the late Dr. Desmond Pacey.
She received a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) from U.N.B. in 1968, winning the Douglas Gold Medal; a Masters of Arts from McGill University in 1969; and a Doctor of Philosophy from U.N.B. in 1976. She began her career in journalism (The Toronto Telegram and Queen magazine) and was then hired as a professor of English at St. Thomas University where she spent 32 years. She was a specialist in American literature, creative writing, and women writers. Over the course of her career she taught about 4,000 students and encouraged them to realize their full creative and intellectual potential. In 1990, Tish received a Special Merit Award for “outstanding contributions” to her profession, the University, and the community.
In terms of community, she devoted herself to three main causes: Heritage Trust, Save Our City Committee, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. At the Gallery she served on the executive of Friends both as Vice Chair (1983-84) and Chair for two terms (1984-86). In 1984 she conceived the idea of The Nutcracker Tea, a children’s Christmas Party, which continues to this day.
Tish is survived by her beloved husband, Richard Bird, and her two daughters, Anne Thornton (Anthony Lewis) and Jane Rumball. She is also survived by her two grandsons, Gabriel and Luke, her mother, Mary Pacey, her six siblings (Philip, Mary Ann, Peter, Margaret, Michael, and Penny), numerous nieces and nephews, as well as her daughters’ father, Charles Thornton.
Visitation will be held at McAdam’s Funeral Home (458-9170) on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. The funeral service will take place at Christ Church Cathedral on Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm. The Very Rev. Keith Joyce will officiate, assisted by The Rev. Canon David Staples and The Rev. Dr. Barry Craig. Interment will take place at a later date in the Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes in Tish’s name may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. On-line condolences may be made at
Service Date
Thursday, March 25, 2010