Having achieved his final goal of reaching his 77th birthday Bob passed away at home on March 18th.
In the past two years he faced his cancer with courage and a strong will to live.
He was predeceased by his father G. LeDgerwood Baird of Kitchener, ON and his mother Eileen Ellis of Waterloo, ON.
He is survived by his wife Bette Jo, daughter Rebecca, sons: Scot (Lisa) and Drew, all of the Comox Valley; sisters: Rita (Vincent) Carey of Hamilton, ON and Joan (Jack) Riordon of Brockville, ON; mother-in-law Sarah Spicer and sister-in-law Judith Nicholson of Truro, NS., also numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Bob was born in Galt, ON and moved at an early age with his family to Kitchener, where he lived until 1952. He then joined the Royal Canadian Navy with the express intention of becoming a fighter pilot flying off aircraft carriers. After flight training with the US Navy, he achieved his dream flying off HMCS Bonaventure with 871 Squadron, out of R.C.N. Air Station Shearwater. He flew in numerous squadrons and served on several different ships. He loved his flying career and Naval Air.
His final flying posting was to 442 Search & Rescue Squadron in Comox, where he flew helicopters. He always felt this was a very rewarding end to his flying career.
After a one year posting to the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria, he retired in the Comox Valley and vowed he would never leave – except to travel which he and Bette Jo enjoyed over the years prior to his illness.
Up until his final weeks he always looked skyward whenever he heard a fighter aircraft, generally saying “lucky devil”.
There will be a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart R.C. Chapel at 19 Wing Comox on Thursday, March 22nd at 2 pm. Reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated.