Burdette “Bert” Leon Bivens, 89, passed away peacefully on March 2, 2021. Bert was born July 6, 1931 in Carthage, Illinois and was the son of Lowell and Leona Bivens. He attended Carthage High School, graduated from Carthage College, served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict and earned a Master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois. His early years were during the Great Depression and the family suffered great hardships. He held many jobs while growing up and always had jobs while attending school and college. In 1953 he married Mary Ruth Smith while serving in the Navy at Indian Head, Maryland. They later lived in Illinois before moving to Burbank, California, where he worked in artificial intelligence at Lockheed Aircraft Skunk Works, including the design team for the SR-71 Blackbird. Bert and Mary had three children together and they remained dear to each other after separating until Mary’s passing in 2011. After leaving California, Bert and Willy moved north to Bellingham, Washington where they purchased a small farm. There, they happily raised chickens and ducks for the remainder of Bert’s life. He found the grandeur and magnificence of the Pacific Northwest scenery and climate soul satisfying except maybe the rain and snow not so much. One of his favorite chores was walking a 1/4 mile twice a day to pick up the newspaper and the mail. He was also very fond of his cat “Mr. Kitty” and the two of them spent many hours daily doing crossword puzzles, watching movies, walking in the blueberry orchard, and taking naps. Mr.
Kitty took great joy in “helping” with the computer, he was brilliant at leaping up from the floor and landing on the keyboard at just the right moment. Mr. Kitty is lost without him, as are we all. Bert also enjoyed investing, playing pool, and bicycling during his lifetime. He enjoyed spending time with friends, family, and loved ones. Bert is survived by Willma “Willy” DeLaura, his love and partner later in life, his daughters Susan Fredrickson and Diane Ross, his brothers Richard (Mary) Bivens, and Loren (Tia) Bivens, six grandchildren, William Willis, Robert Fredrickson, Camden Ross, Brian Bivens, Steven Bivens and Jack Bivens, nine great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins including Jaymi Bivens. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Bruce, his granddaughter Pamela, and his great grandson Zachary. He will be greatly missed. There will be no memorial service at this time. A celebration of his life will take place at a later date.
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