Dr. Joseph L. Baird, 80, of Mogadore, OH--in his own antemortem words--"kicked off" Thursday, September 12, 2013 in Mogadore, OH.
He was born April 15, 1933 in Ranlo, NC to David Hampton and Bertis Lee (Barrett) Baird. Dr. Baird was Professor Emeritus of Classics and Medieval Studies at Kent State University. In 1989 he was presented with the Distinguished Teaching Award by the Kent State University Alumni Association and the Kent State University Foundation. Dr. Baird was also a member of the Kent Retired Faculty Association.
He is survived by his daughter, Bertis "Eve" Baird of Mogadore and brother, Jack David Baird of Morganton, NC.
Other significant survivors include: his former wife; Lorrayne Y. Baird-Lange, and the two daughters from her first marriage: Julianne Charlotte Baird and Priscilla "Catherine" Teutsch whom he helped to raise. He is also survived by their children Jessica Alexandra Peyton, Luke Austin Peyton, Kristen Nicole Teutsch, and John "Jack" William Teutsch. A special family acknowledgement needs to be given here to survivors David Lawrence and Bettye Baird, (nephew and wife) of Morgantown, NC, who were always available to him at a moment's notice. Dr. Joe also leaves behind many other nieces/nephews and extended family members in the South.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, John "Red" William Baird and Bobby Frank Baird.
Born in the foothills of the Appalacian Mountains near Gastonia NC, Joe contracted polio at the age of two which paralyzed him from the waist down. The polio left his brilliant and infinitely curious mind untouched. Encouraged by the support of "Mr. Crabtree"--a simple Morganton Man--he finished school and graduated from Young Harris Junior College in Georgia where he served as president of several student organizations. He then went on to the University of Kentucky where he obtained his PhD. Dr. Joe Baird taught at Kent State University for 31 years. He co-authored eight books, developed a medieval perpetual calendar, and published countless articles, book reviews and cartoons. Generous and secretly tender at heart, Dr. Baird was intense, unforgettable and completely unstoppable in life--with the most fierce and fiery determination of any human being, ever.
An avid artist, author, scholar, poet, cartoonist, inventor, joke teller, etymologist, technology enthusiast, and dog trainer Dr. Joe--as he was often fondly called by his friends--loved to invent, work jigsaw puzzles, watch birds and play word games with his adoring daughter, Eve.
A gathering and visitation with the family will be held 6-8pm Friday, October 04 at Bissler & Sons Funeral Home, 628 West Main Street, Kent, OH. There will also be A Celebration of the Life, Art, and Writings of Dr. Joseph L. Baird on October 05. For those interested in attending the latter, please call (330) 678-4151 to obtain the details.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs, 4681 Broadview Road, Cleveland, OH 44109. (216) 485-9233.