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Kay (Schuster) Baird

February 25, 1936 ~ June 15, 2022 (age 86)

Obituary

Charlton- Kay Schuster Baird, mother and wife, sister and friend, died at home in Charlton early in the morning of June 15, 2022, the strawberry moon still big in the sky. Born on February 25, 1936 to Eleanor Freeman and Winfield Schuster, the third of three girls, Kay grew up in Douglas, Massachusetts, surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; skating on Hunt’s Pond, swimming around Badluck and across the Res, riding horses, and sledding down The Hill. She graduated from Douglas Memorial High School, received a degree in political science from Pembroke College and a master’s in education from Brown University, then fled the cold northeast for Hawaii, where she worked at the Korean Consulate. On New Year’s Eve 1960 she met the love of her life, Navy Lieutenant Ronald Baird, stationed at Pearl Harbor; in 1962, they married. 

         From Honolulu, Hawaii, to Austin, Texas, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to St. Petersburg, Florida, Kay worked while Ron pursued his education. In Florida, they welcomed Susanna and Lesley and from minute one, Kay raised her girls to appreciate every detail, great and small, of the world around them. After a brief pitstop in Texas, the family moved to Massachusetts and Kay worked as a secretary, first at Whitinsville Christian School and then with Uxbridge Public Schools. From there, Kay and Ron went to Washington, DC, where Kay volunteered with the Republican National Committee; then briefly to Wilmington, North Carolina, before returning to New England in 2010 to be near the girls and their families. 

         Kay loved green fields and red barns and cows, all of the dogs and a few of the cats. She loved Red Sox baseball and backyard wiffleball, hot dogs with relish, rootbeer floats, potato chips, Chinese takeout, cold beer, lemonade, pulled pork, and a dry martini with olive and a twist. She loved Vermont and Western Massachusetts, the taverns of New England inns, small art museums, spring peepers, family dinners, sarcastic asides, and beating her sons-in-law at cards. She loved to get in the car and drive and drive, marveling at the beauty of the trees and the size of the 18-wheelers blowing past. 

         More than all of these things, Kay loved her people, strongly and specifically: her second mother, the late Elsie Kooistra, her sisters Ann Dix and Sue Cave, her brothers- and sisters-in-law, her nieces and nephews and all their children, and especially her daughters Lesley Myers and Susanna Baird, their husbands Greg Myers and Rich Thornett, and her grandchildren Elsie Myers, Georgia Myers, Wes Thornett, and Annalise Thornett. Most of all she loved her husband of 60 years, Ron Baird, from that first New Year’s Eve party to the very last kiss. We will miss her for the rest of our lives.

        Kay’s funeral services will be privately held at the convenience of her family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, FDR Station, PO Box 220, New York, NY 10150, or NECCOG Animal Services in Dayville, Conn., PO Box 759, Dayville, CT 06241-where she found her best boy Patch. To leave a condolence message please visit: www.Jackmanfuneralhomes.com

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