Bruce Lynn Birkhead, 85, of Fort Smith, Ark., passed away on Sept. 6, 2020. He was born April 14, 1935, in New Blaine, Ark., to Lindell Birkhead and Ina White Birkhead.
Bruce worked for the Social Security Administration until his retirement in the early 1990s. Since then, he enjoyed the opportunity to polish his already remarkable skills as an artist.
In his lifetime, he painted stunning landscapes, carved and painted hundreds of cypress knee Santas, and designed and produced beautiful stained glass pieces of all sizes. He was also a noted local floral designer in his day and continued to help out during the holiday rush at Expressions Flowers.
He was a member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Paris while growing up and joined First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Fort Smith around 1960. Over the years, he held numerous leadership roles within the state and local Christian Churches (DOC) and sang in the choir. Bruce was a very active member of the Fort Smith Little Theatre for more than 30 years.
Among his greatest joys was his work that resulted in a restored and expanded-range Quimby organ at FCC (DOC) FS and that his children and grandchildren accused him of having “no filters.”
He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife, Saundra “Kaye” Birkhead; their son, Brett Lynn Birkhead; and his sister, Barbara Arndt. Bruce loved his friends and family at church, FSLT and throughout the FS community.
Survivors include two children, Zena Marshall and her husband, Dan, of Fort Smith, Todd Birkhead and his wife, April, of Fort Smith; three grandchildren, Katy Featherston, Grace Featherston and Claire Birkhead, all of Fort Smith; and his sister, Eleanor Underwood and her husband, Larry, of Derby, Kan.
A celebration of Bruce’s life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at Mount Salem Cemetery in the Mount Salem Community near Mount Magazine. Don’t forget your mask! His children and friends will organize a memorial concert for Bruce when conditions permit large gatherings.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Christian Church (DOC), FS, a local public school music program, FSLT or KUAF. Services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home. To place online condolences, visit www.edwardsfuneral home.com.
Bruce’s advice to you: Be kind, read more, create and “let the dogs out, dmmit!”
Honorary pallbearers will be Leonard Cowan, Don Oglesby, Nancy Blochberger, Jewel White, Nick Oliver, Cliff Carson, Aimee Mavel Guenette, Hilda Turner, Danny Lynch, Jack Albert, RQ Mills, Larry Underwood, Richard Arndt and Bob Bauer.