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Shirley Bird Perry

Shirley Bird Perry

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May 11, 2011
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Shirley Bird Perry, who played a leadership role in the administration of the University of Texas at Austin for nearly five decades, died on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. She was 74 and had battled cancer for several years.

Born near Stockdale, Texas, in 1936 to Homer and Laura Stevenson Bird, Shirley Ann Bird was known by friends and colleagues throughout her life as “Shirley Bird.”

Shirley Bird earned her degree in education in 1958 at the University of Texas and joined the Texas Union staff as program director. She married Sam Perry in 1963 and earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from UT in 1967. Through the years, she served in many roles at the University of Texas, including vice president of development and university relations, senior vice president of the UT System, and life member of the Texas Exes.

Friends remember Shirley Bird for her boundless energy, her grace under fire, and her irreverent sense of humor.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Edwin Homer Bird; and her brother-in-law, Richard Davis.

She is survived by her husband, Sam R. Perry; her sisters, Mary Jane Jonsson and husband Errol, Virginia Bird Davis, and Patsy Bird Weber; her nephew, Charles Cotter; great-nephews Jake and Trevor Cotter; her cousin, Betty Bird; her sisters-in-law, Polly Perry-Vincent and her sons Blair and Scott Franklin and their families, and Jenny Kay Kubiak and husband L.B. and their children, Lindsay and Logan.

A memorial service was held in the Lyndon B. Johnson Library Auditorium on Monday, May 9, at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow.

Interment will be at a later date in the State Cemetery in Austin.

Rather than flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Shirley Bird Perry Endowment Fund for University History c/o The University Development Office, P. O. Box 7458, Austin, TX 78713-7458.

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