Ralph Walter Baird, 86, of Crystal City, Mo. and formerly of Sparta, died Feb. 20, 2014 in Crystal City.
He was born Jan. 1, 1928 in Sparta, son of the late Esther (nee Dickey) and Walter E. Baird.
He is survived by his wife Elinor C. (nee VanHorn) Baird, sons Curtis R. Baird of Glen Carbon and Thomas W. Baird and wife Eileen of Beachwood, N.J., a daughter Phyllis L. Buckowitz of St. Louis, Mo., grandchildren Jennilee Lloyd and husband Dax, Jessica Price and husband Nathanael, Michelle Reichardt and husband Phil, Ryan Young, Kelly LaBanca and husband Daniel, Kayla Buckowitz, Alexander Buckowitz, Anne Baird and Tommy Baird, great-grandchildren Breanna Reichardt, Jakob Reichardt, Mason Reichardt, Grant Reichardt, Collin LaBanca and Madison LaBanca and his special pet Mandy.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant sister, Helen Esther Baird.
He was a United States Air Force Korean War Veteran, member of First United Methodist Church of Festus/Crystal City, American Legion Post #253, Korean War Veterans Association and a retired welder from Union Electric, where he worked at the Venice and Rush Island power plants.
Visitation was Feb. 25 at Vinyard Funeral Home in Festus, Mo., with funeral services at 10 a.m., Feb. 26 at the funeral home, officiated by Rev. Gary Grey, Pastor of First United Methodist Church. Interment was in Lake View Memorial Gardens in Fairview Heights.
Memorials in his memory are preferred to the American Diabetes Association or American Heart Association.