Where Are They Now? : Joni Thorpe-Bird

Joni Thrope-Bird graduated from Uniontown Area High School in 1999. She was a member of the Student Council for three years. Throughout high school she became a mother, worked at Columbia Gas Company and helped take care of her mother.

Joni grew up in a small town patch called Juanita, with her mother, father, and sister. For her childhood, Joni was known as the “smart one”, she loved reading books, calculus and enjoyed social studies. When Joni graduated, she attended Penn State Campus, studied for Cosmetology, but she did not follow through with the whole plan, due to being a mother and jobs. On September 28th, 2001, Joni got married to her husband, Robert Bird. Joni met Robert through his sister Lee Ann Bird in 1997, fell head over heels for each other since they first laid eyes on each other . In 1999, they became parents to their one and only child, Caleb Bird. She was about family first always, everything she did was by her child and husband.

Since her husband was always on the road or working, she was a proud housewife and a mom, always tending to the house. She had to step up to the plate and take care of her husband and work because he was then diagnosed with epilepsy in 2007. Over the years she had countless jobs, she was a stocks person at Romeos Warehouse, Sales Associate at Bon-Ton, cook at Panera Bread, cafeteria worker for the UASD, etc. in 2010, Joni decided to return to college to pursue her career, until she was diagnosed with stomach ulcers, and other health issues. Joni kept trying to work to support her family until in 2013, they had to move into Roberts parents house because of a serious power outage and issues with the home.

Her and her family were sent into grief and shock because on February 23, 2013, her husband passed away from a seizure, falling out of bed and breaking his neck. After that she had to accept it was her and her son, until she got sent to the hospital due to health issues. Joni had gastric bypass surgery back in 2002. Joni lost over 350 pounds, but that came with some serious issues. Due to having the operation, she was diagnosed with liver failure. The doctors explained the problems that the gastric bypass has done to people, and what she had was one of the issues.

After two weeks, she was sent home to her parents house with her son. She was starting to heal because she had swollen legs, and trouble walking. Her health started to decline, more and more each day. On March 22nd, 2013, Joni saw the light and the pearly gold gates and was reunited with her husband. Joni always loved her family and wanted the best for them, she tried her best to hold everything together, she was such a good, loving, caring mother, wife, daughter, and all in all, a great person.

Caleb Bird

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