Richard Newman Baird was born in 1925 to parents Lester F. Baird and Margaret Newman Baird in Bellefonte, PA. He passed away August 15, 2023 at Providence Place, Lancaster. He graduated from Bellefonte High School 1943, and in 1944 joined the Navy, and married his high school sweetheart, Carmen Hess Baird.
He was stationed in Guam in the South Pacific during WW II. When he returned home he got a job with Bell Telephone of PA in Centre County and was transferred to Lancaster in 1957. He retired as a supervising manager of the Repair Center July 1989 after 42 years of service.
Carmen was not only the love of Dick’s life, she was his friend and companion. They were married 49 years. Together they raised three children: Thomas R Baird (Dianne); Sandra Jean Baird; and Nadena B Ament (G. David ). They had 5 grandchildren, Kristin Nicola, Sandra Elizabeth Henderson, Caitlin Baird Teague, Nathaniel Ament, and Janene Ament and ten great grandchildren as well as step grandchildren, step great grandchildren and step great-great grandchildren all of whom he loved. He is predeceased by his wife, his parents, and his sister Jean.
Although he was very happy in Lancaster, his heart always remained in Milesburg, PA. The eldest of his very large extended family, he strived to keep close connections with them and enjoyed researching and writing about his family’s genealogy. Carmen’s siblings and their families were an integral part of Dick’s life.
Music was a prominent avocation
He found great joy in harmonizing as a teenager in pick up quartets on street corners in Milesburg and singing in and directing church choirs of various ages in Milesburg and at Grandview United Methodist Church in Lancaster. The most thrilling experience for him was singing with the 100 voice Great Lakes Naval Training Base Chorus. When he was in his 40’s he learned how to play the trombone and that set him up for delightful years with the Lancaster Bell Telephone Sound of Roses Big Band. During gigs, when he hadn’t disappeared to the dance floor, Dick was playing his trombone or directing this exceptional band until he was 87 years old.
He was a committed, longtime member of Grandview Church of Lancaster serving the church in many capacities through more than five decades. Dick lived out his faith by serving others and the church and expressed his love of God through his music.
Dick was a member of the Masons and was one of the founders of the America Legion in Milesburg. Dick also served on both the Trcziyulny Cemetery and the Milesburg Museum Boards in Centre County.
He will be remembered for his sense of humor and laughter, his love of nature, his desire to serve others, his commitment to family, and his self-taught musical abilities and the joy those talents brought to him and to many others.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Grandview Church, 888 Pleasure Road, Lancaster, PA 17601 on Saturday, September 16 at 11:00 AM with visitation at 10:00 AM. Interment will be at the family’s discretion. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving a donation to missions or music at the church or organization of your choice.