Willard BairdWillard Baird, 80, of Grand Forks, ND passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2010 in Altru Hospital in Grand Forks surrounded by his loving family after a courageous battle with Parkinson's.
Willard Baird, 80, of Grand Forks, ND passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2010 in Altru Hospital in Grand Forks surrounded by his loving family after a courageous battle with Parkinson's.
Willard Myron Baird was born December 9, 1929 on a farm in Bygland Township near Fisher, MN the son of George Paul and Mabel Pauline (Abrahamson) Baird. He spent his early years on a farm east of Crookston, MN. He was a corporal in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1951-1952. In his role as a sniper, he sustained an injury that was treated at an Army Field Hospital when he was blown off a tank at Heartbreak Ridge. After the war, he graduated from Hanson Automotive School in Fargo and Wahpeton, North Dakota State School of Science then married the love of his life, Mary Ann Kaste in Crookston on February 14, 1956.
Will was employed by Hegland Motors in Crookston, MN and Mobil 101 in Warren, MN from 1956 until 1960. He then moved to Grand Forks working at Sam's Mobil, DX, and Will's Skelly. He was self-employed at Will's Repair for more than 25 years. He was a good mechanic and liked to work with his hands. He worked hard all his life to give his children a better life than he had and he succeeded. He continued to be productive even after retirement and maintained a great sense of humor. Will enjoyed fishing, hunting, hobby farming and weekends at the lake. He had a caring personality and was always there to lend a hand to anyone in need. His greatest joy though was the time spent with his beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Ann; three sons, Robert (Thelma) Abbott of Grand Forks ND, Jim of Reynolds ND and Mike (fiancé, Diana Gamboa) of East Grand Forks MN; four daughters, Beckie (Don) Thorson of Tenstrike MN, Lois (Marty) Ustanko of Grand Forks ND, Barb (Ken) Garberg of Rapid City, SD and Colleen Deitz of Argyle, MN. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren; his sister, Mary Ann (Dan) Kostuck of Fairmont, ND; his brother, George (Anna) Baird of Summerville, GA; numerous nieces and nephews; a special friend, Paul Deitz.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sandra Kay; grandson, Zachary; his parents; brothers, John, Richard, Wallace and Clarion and sisters, Edith Erickson and Pauline Florek.
Funeral Mass: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 4, 2010 in Holy Family Catholic Church of Grand Forks, ND.
Family Greeting: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service in the Gregory J. Norman Funeral Chapel. Family greeting will continue for one hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Saturday.
Interment: Memorial Park Cemetery South, Grand Forks, ND.
Military Honors: Members of the American Legion Post 157, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3817 and the North Dakota National Guard.
The online memorial registry may be signed at www.normanfuneral.com
Gregory J. Norman-Norman Funeral Home, So. Washington St.