Robert P. “Bob” Baird, of Niles

Dec. 8, 1941 — April 20, 2021

Robert P. “Bob” Baird, 79, of Niles, passed away at 6:49 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Ernestine M. Raclin House-Center for Hospice Care in Mishawaka, IN, following a brief illness.

Bob was born on Dec. 8, 1941, in Elkhart, Indiana and grew up in New Carlisle, Indiana, before moving to Niles in 1975.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Jane (Watt) Hooten; and his brother, Thomas “Mac” McCord Baird.

Bob was a Navy Veteran of Submarine Service. He had a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministry from Great Lakes Christian College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics from Andrews University.

Bob was currently serving as the Pastor of Prairie Gardens Christian Fellowship Church in New Carlisle, Indiana, where he has served for over 20 years. He became a Pastor when he was 49 years old and loved his Church Family. Prior to that, he worked for Kearney & Trecker as an electronic technician and as an electrician at Bendix Corp.

On July 3, 1965, he married the love of his life, Connie J. Whitinger, at the former Lowell Heights Methodist Church in South Bend, Indiana.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Connie Baird of Niles, MI; daughter, Pamela K. (Michael) Sebasty of Buchanan, MI; son, William M. (Marianna) Baird of Niles, MI; seven grandchildren, Laura (Tony) Layne; Melissa (Ben) Larson; Christina (Michael) Ringle; Esmee Baird; Iona Baird; Clement Baird; Meline Baird; Greg (Katie) Sebasty; and Alex (Rebecca) Sebasty;10 great-grandchildren who adored him; and his sister, Lisa (Michael) Chakerian of California.

Bob was a member of EAA in Niles. He was a small aircraft pilot and instructor who loved flying. Bob enjoyed tinkering with planes, cars, and equipment. He always said that his favorite job was working with his family at the Harvest Café in Niles,  where he was known as “Beignet Bob.” Bob always had a passion for life and his family. He will forever be remembered for his smile, his friendliness, his love of the Lord, and his love of everyone around him. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren will remember him for his story-telling and “pig-piles”.

Visitation will be from 4 t o8 p.m. Monday, April 26, 2021, at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend.

Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, IN, with Minister Neil Milliman officiating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger, Indiana.

In lieu of flowers, Connie requests that you support the Harvest Café in Niles in memory of “Beignet Bob.”

To send online condolences, please visit kaniewski.com.

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