Bruce J. Baird, a long time resident of Pataskala, passed away January 4, 2012. He was born on October 11, 1938, to the late John Noel and Lula (Fraker) Baird.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years Judy, and their daughters, Susan Baird, Sandra (Paul) Gundler and Catherine Baird; four grandchildren, Alex Baird, son of Jay (deceased) and Carol Baird, Madelyn and Sarah Gundler, and Greyson Baird; brother, Charles Baird of Weatherford, TX; nephews, David Baird, Mark Baird and Tim Baird; niece, Rebecca Baird Thiebaud of TX; and cousins, Lewis Fraker, Donna Jean Stagg, Jerri Westfall, Wayne Burdette of Westerville, and Doug Burdette of Howard, Ohio. Bruce was preceded in death by his dear son, Jay Noel Baird in 2005.
Bruce was a 1956 graduate of Summit High School (nka Licking Heights), a 1960 graduate of The Ohio State University, and received his Masters at Ohio University. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at OSU. He taught vocational agriculture at Northridge High School and Watkins Memorial before opening his real estate office in Pataskala.
Bruce served three terms as Mayor of Pataskala, was past president of council (Pataskala) and served five years as a trustee on the Southwest Licking Community Water & Sewer District. He was a charter member and past president of the Pataskala Area Chamber of Commerce, and was a charter member of the Pataskala Rotary Club with perfect attendance for 13 years. Bruce was a 50 year member of the Pataskala Lions Club and recently was awarded its Melvin Jones Fellow Award. He was a past Elder and Deacon and life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church of Pataskala. He was also a member of the West Licking Historical Society, past president and member of the Licking County Sheep Improvement Committee, past 4-H Leader, former member of the Republican Party Central Committee, served on the Licking County Aging Program Board and the Licking County Tourism Board, and was awarded the Master
He was a part-time farmer, raising sheep and showing them at the Hartford, Fairfield County and Knox County fairs, and Ohio State Fair. He greatly enjoyed the Hartford Fair each August, Buckeye football games, and watching his grandchildren play soccer and basketball, swim, and learn to use the Red Ryder BB guns he gave them for Christmas. He also shared his love of electric trains with his family.
Funeral service was January 9, 2012, at the First Presbyterian Church of Pataskala, with Rev. Dennis Whitt officiating.
Memorial donations may be given to the ALS Association of Central and Southern Ohio, 1170 Old Henderson Road., Ste. 221, Columbus, Ohio 43220, the Hartford Fair, 14028 Fairgrounds Road NW, Croton, OH 43013 or the Cleveland Clinic in memory of Bruce J. Baird.
An online memorial will be located at www.kaubersammons.com.