On November 17, 1942, Nels Robert Baird joined three older sisters and then waited seventeen months before being joined by a younger brother to make the family of Robert and Phyllis (Nelson) Baird complete.
Nels died of natural causes on February 15, 2022, at the Central Montana Medical Center.
After going through the Lewistown school system, Nels graduated Fergus High in 1961 and Montana State University in Bozeman in 1966. At Bozeman, he was active in the Bobcat concert and marching bands and was a life member of the MSU Alumni Association.
Nels returned to Lewistown to assist Bob and Phyllis in their paint and glass company. When they retired he bought the company and ran it until he retired.
Nels was a life member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and loved flying until his vision precluded his continuing. He made multiple trips to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the annual EAA conference and fly-in. He was building a Volkswagon engine-powered aircraft and enjoyed rebuilding vehicles.
As a Lewistown businessman, he belonged to and was active in the Jaycees and the Moose Club.
When first meeting Nels he appeared quiet and shy. This shyness concealed an amazing intellect. He read continually and retained an amazing amount of information. An example of his mental acuity: if you wanted to drive anywhere in the USA he could, without sourcing a map, tell what roads to take and a very close estimate of miles between way points. He also remembered verbatim most conversations he ever had with an individual.
Nels loved all of his nieces and nephew, cousins and myriad shirt- tail relatives. He also remembered how they all were related.
His surviving siblings are sisters, Dr. Karren Baird Olson and Carole Wicks of Lewistown, MT, Bobbee Jo Baird of New York City and brother John Baird of Lincoln City, OR.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a niece, a grand-niece, a nephew and several cousins.
If Nels has his radio in heaven he will be listening to Bobcat and Fergus sports and will be able to continue to tell you about all of the boy and girl athletes at Fergus.
He especially loved the Redbirds and always knew all of the stats for all of the players.
This summer there will be an event /gathering to celebrate Nels’ life.
Friends are asked to make memorials to the Redbirds or any other charity of their choice and they can be left with Cloyd’s Funeral home.
Condolences may be made online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com