Frank M. Baird, 70, died peacefully on July 4, 2018, at his home in Oak Bluffs after waging a lengthy battle with brain cancer. His family was at his side.
Frank was born on Dec. 25, 1947. He was the husband of Ann Donnelly Baird, formerly of Rhode Island. He was the son of Arthur F. and Vianna R. (Perry) Baird. Frank grew up in Oak Bluffs, the second of eight children. He shared many wonderful stories of growing up in Oak Bluffs on Norris Avenue back in the day when houses were sparse and the woods were abundant. The family moved down to the corner of Circuit and South Circuit Avenue, where Frank spent his teenage years and beyond. He attended the Oak Bluffs Elementary School and MVRHS, class of 1966.
Frank went into the Army in March 1967. He was trained as a helicopter mechanic, and eventually went to Vietnam to work on helicopters. Frank excelled at his job and gained a reputation as the man you wanted to work on your helicopter. He was given many awards and citations for his work. When it was time to leave in March 1969, he had job offers from Boeing and other prominent West Coast aircraft companies. However, he put all that behind him and returned home to Oak Bluffs. Almost immediately he started working with his brother Tim for Berube Electric. A few years later Tim, his wife Sheila, and Frank took over the company, and continued to work together for close to 50 years.
Frank was known as a brilliant electrician, and was well respected among his colleagues. He liked a challenge and was great at figuring out things. Frank was interested in many things;, he was an avid reader from how-to books to biographies, travel, and history. His favorite book was the Bible. He knew the Bible front to back, and inside and out. Frank was a member and trustee of the Duxbury Free Christian Society. He attended meetings twice a year with his son Mark and other family members. All of his children spent time going to Duxbury with Frank while growing up.
Frank and Ann married in 1981, and had their children throughout the ’80s. During this time they renovated the barn on South Circuit into their family home.
Frank was very spiritual, a man of truth; he had strong convictions and never worried about what others thought of him. He had a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. He was a kind man who cared about people in need. He was a true Islander who still picked up hitchhikers. Most important, he was a family man who loved his children, grandchildren, and extended family.
He is survived by his wife Ann; daughters Natasha Shultz of West Tisbury, Sara (Baird) (Rob) Labelle of Torrington, Conn.; sons Mark Baird of Oak Bluffs, James (Emily) Baird of Vineyard Haven, and Michael Baird of Oak Bluffs; his grandchildren, Lawrence LaBelle and Vianna Belle Baird; brothers Timothy (Sheila) Baird of Edgartown, John Baird of Boston, Stephen (Vicky) Baird of Florida; sisters Jean Baird of China, Faye (Jim) Macy of Oak Bluffs, and Barbara (Alan) Fortes of Vineyard Haven. Frank was predeceased by his brother Richard (Rick) Baird.
He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and friends.
Donations in Frank’s memory may be made to: Vineyard Independent Partnership (VIP) (supporting adults with disabilities), P.O. Box 1204, West Tisbury, MA 02575, or Island Elderly Housing, Quality of Life Programs, 60B Village Rd., Vineyard Haven, MA, 02568, or a charity of one’s choice.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 14, at 11 am in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, 56 Edgartown Rd., Oak Bluffs. The family will receive visitors beginning at 10:30 am. A graveside service will follow at 12:30 in the Sacred Heart Cemetery, Vineyard Avenue, Oak Bluffs, with military honors provided by the veterans of Martha’s Vineyard. All are welcome to a reception at the P.A. Club on Vineyard Avenue in Oak Bluffs afterward. Please bring a dish to share.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guestbook and information.