James "Jim" C. Baird
November 27, 1934 - August 4, 2018
Jim was born November 27, 1934 in Amarillo, Texas to Walter Hartley and Bertha Ines (Black) Baird. He was the baby of the five children born to Walter and Ines. He grew up in Amarillo and graduated from Amarillo High School in 1953. He was a lifetime member of Second Baptist Church and faithfully attended until his health declined.
On December 27, 1955, Jim married Frances Pauline Smith, the love of his life and best friend, in Clovis, New Mexico. They had celebrated 58 years of marriage at the time of Frances’ passing. Jim enlisted into the Army and together he and Frances moved to Camp Hale, Colorado. When Jim was honorably discharged from the Army, they moved to Kingsville, Texas for a short time, and then returned home to Amarillo with their daughter Katherine ‘Kathy’ D’Ann Baird, who was born March 23, 1957. Their daughter Jami Kay Baird was born June 26, 1959 and their son, James C. ‘Jimmy’ Jr. was born January 18, 1962.
Jim and Frances raised their children in a loving home and instilled the love of God into their lives. As a family, the Bairds traveled all over the United States on vacation, showing us the beauty of our land and reinforcing in us the honor of living in this great country. Dad was always an inspiration, not only his children, but to his nieces and nephews. He was our great protector, our source of strength and our example of how a Godly man takes care of his family. We are so fortunate to have had Dad show us how to conduct ourselves and how to be loving parents to our children.
Jim retired as Plant Manager of the Amarillo Helium Plant in 1994 and this began a new journey for him and Frances. They attended every activity of their grandchildren, including the United State Marine Corp graduation of grandson, Joey Avey, at camp Pendleton, California and were so very proud of man he became. They also traveled with granddaughter, Randi, many places in Texas for her gymnastics competitions and even attended the Olympic Junior Nationals in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jim created many treasures in his woodworking shop. He made wooden rocking horses for multiple family members and friends. Frances assisted him, because everyone needs a supervisor, by doing the artwork on the horses and together they have given heirlooms to be passed down for generations. Jim also made cedar chests for his children and grandchildren, which will remind us of his love for us every day. After Frances passed away, Jim stopped woodworking, but today all the small angels in heaven are rocking on wooden horses made by Jim and Frances.
Jim loved Kathy and Jami with all his heart but when his grandchildren and great grandson came along, his heart overflowed with love and pride. Terry Joseph ‘Joey’ Avey was born April 26, 1982 and Randi Nichelle Larson was born October 7, 1987. Randi was born early and spent weeks in the NICU, where Dad would watch over her and hold her. Her tiny body fit easily into his big loving hands. Terry JB Avey was born June 7, 2010 and brought even more joy to Dad’s life. He was so very proud of being Papa to his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his son Jimmy; parents, Walter and Ines, his siblings, Walter Hartley Baird, Jr., Maxine Baird Bichsel, Virginia Baird Ketzel and her husband Tex and Margie Baird Valentine and her husband RC; his nephews Joseph Real Vachon and Brad Smith, nieces Paula Jane Bichsel Cornett and Stephanie Cornett Slack; his mother in law, who he loved dearly, Annie Jane Hayes Smith and father in law Earl Smith.
Jim is survived by his daughters and their families, Kathy Larson and husband Billy, of Amarillo, their daughter Randi Glenn and husband Cody, of Canyon, Billy’s son Brandon Larson and wife Nicki and his sons, Kolin of Happy and Kayden of Dalhart; daughter Jami K. Watson and husband Garry H., Jami’s son Terry Joseph ‘Joey’ Avey and wife Amy, their son Terry JB Avey, of Amarillo, Amy’s children Cyndie Miller Johnson, her husband Marcus and children Edyn, Everett and Teddy, Eiryn Miller Prifogle, her husband Max and children Alldin, Opal and Tilly, Harrison Miller, all of the Austin area, and Josie Miller of Amarillo; by Garry’s sons, David Watson of Amarillo and Michael Watson, his wife Melissa and children McKenzie, Carter and Brady, of Coppell. He is also survived by sister in law, Carole Vachon of Florida, brothers in law, Billy Smith of California and Johnnie Smith of Thailand, as well as many nieces and nephews and friends too numerous to count.
Jim’s family would like to thank BSA Hospice of the Southwest for making sure Dad was comfortable during his last days. We want to especially thank Dad’s caregivers, Sonia Perez, Brittney Martinez, Desiree Hayes and Julie Stites. These wonderful women made it possible for Dad to remain in his home over the last year, which was so important to him and to us. They made his last days happy and for this we will be forever thankful. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to BSA Hospice of the Southwest, 5211 SW 9th, Suite 100, Amarillo, Texas 79106 or Second Baptist Church, 419 N. Buchanan, Amarillo, Texas 79107.
Today, Jim and Frances are together again strolling the streets of heaven with their son and even though our hearts are broken, we are comforted by knowing we will see them soon.