Dr. Forrest Bird, 94, passed away at his home in Idaho on Aug. 2, 2015.
Many news outlets have reported on his remarkable life – “The Birdman of Idaho” was well known for being an enthusiastic aviator and military flight instructor, as well as the inventor of the world’s first low-cost respirator, which has saved millions of lives.
These achievements earned him far-reaching praise and recognition. He received a Presidential Citizens Medal from President George W. Bush – a prestigious award that recognizes U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation. It is one of the highest honors that can be conferred upon a civilian. President Obama awarded him with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation – the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the president.
California Masons also remember Bro. Bird for his achievements within the craft. He was a member of Palm Springs Lodge No. 693 for 57 years. In 2010, he was honored as the California Mason of the Year.
In 2008, he told California Freemason magazine that his inspiration to become a Mason came from his father. “Being a Mason was so important for him, and it’s important for me,” Bird said. “If I meet someone who is a Mason, there is an instant connection for me because I know that we share similar experiences and values. It really does make a difference for me.”
Read more about Bro. Bird in the Spring/Summer 2008 edition of California Freemason.
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