Former Butterfield Memorial Foundation Chief Executive Officer Eric Leroy Baird was welcomed with open arms into heaven on May 16, 2018, after fighting valiantly against pancreatic cancer for the past 16 months. A funeral service to celebrate his life was held Monday, May 21, at the Midwest City Free Methodist Church.
He was born on June 29, 1959, in Winnemucca, Nevada, to Dorothy Esther (Lee) Baird and Allen Lee Baird. He was the fourth of four children. He grew up in Roseburg, Oregon, and graduated from high school there in 1977.
He attended Central Christian College in McPherson, Kansas, where he met Anita Johns. The two of them would spend the next 40 years being head-over-heels for one another. They were married on June 21, 1980, in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary last year. On September 17, 1985, Andrew Allen was born in Midwest City. Then on March 28, 1988, Sarah Elizabeth was born in Midwest City. He was a faithful servant and active member of the Midwest City Free Methodist Church.
He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration for 30 years. Upon retiring from the FAA, he became the CEO of the Butterfield Memorial Foundation. The foundation was created subsequent to the sale of Deaconess Hospital to a national health care corporation. The foundation operates in Central Oklahoma, fulfilling the century-old Deaconess Hospital legacy of advocating for health needs of the underserved in our community. Informed by its historic roots with the Free Methodist Church – USA, the foundation’s original mission is still being fulfilled through this emphasis on direct access to charitable medical care and creating families through adoption.
He enjoyed golfing, flying and spending as much time as he could with his family, especially his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Anita (Johns) Baird; his son, Andrew (Allison) Baird; and his daughter, Sarah Baird; his grandchildren Corrin, Addie and Benson (all Andrew); his siblings Bonnie Borodko of Salem, Oregon; Myron (Lisa) Baird of Richland, Washington; and Cecil (Kris) Baird of Salem, Oregon. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy (Lee) and Allen Baird.
Click here for the tribute wall on the Barnes Friederich Funeral Home website.