Howard Thomas 'Boppa' Baer
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A memorial service for Howard Thomas "Boppa" Baer, 61, of Decatur, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ridout's Brown-Service Funeral Home with the Rev. Charles L. Ricks officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. at the funeral home.
Howard died Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at Huntsville Hospital.
He was born September 26, 1952, in New York City to Vincent T. and Mary E. Baer. In 1963, the family moved to Alabama, where his father was employed at Redstone Arsenal. Howard graduated from S.R. Butler High School in 1972. He met Kimberly Spaulding in 1969, and they married June 14, 1973. The Baers soon moved to Decatur, opened a dance studio and raised a family. While working as an over-the road trucker, Howard traveled to 48 states, Mexico and Canada. He also managed several trucking firms in this area.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Raymond D. and Elizabeth R. Spaulding.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kim Baer; two daughters, Alicia Mullican and husband, Stacy, and Erin Colley and husband, Brandon, all of Decatur; three grandchildren, Mollie and Amelia Mullican and Carl Thomas Colley; three brothers, John A. Baer and wife, Valerie, of Fountain, Colo., Decatur Police Captain Vince Baer and wife, Connie, of Madison, and John M. Baer and wife, Cherokee, of Norfolk, Va.; and five sisters, Lorraine Gardner of Denison, Texas, Mary Baer of Madison, Theresa Schrenk and husband, Michael, of Huntsville, Judy Kim and husband, Hajin of Huntsville and Margaret Gaines and husband, Eddie, of Madison; sister-in-law, Rhae Brock and husband, Charles, of Athens and many nieces and nephews.
Howard played many years with the Huntsville Rugby Club, where he was known to deliver exceptionally hard licks to many a thwarted opponent. He was a raucous and lifelong supporter of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Known to his friends as The Great Embellisher, Howard was known for spinning yarns and tall tales. He particularly enjoyed swapping lies and insults with his best friend, Cecil Cole, over a few cold, refreshing beverages. Howard loved the camaraderie of his friends, who considered him a master backyard griller and storyteller. Wherever Howard went, laughter followed.
He enjoyed gardening, stargazing, Civil War history, the annual Polar Bear plunge, and building props for the family dance studio and performing in its recitals. He especially loved being a grandfather and going on adventures with his grandkids. He was a loving and devoted husband, father and friend who will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Memorial donations may be made to the Princess Theatre for the Performing Arts in Decatur.
Ridout's Brown Service Funeral Home - Decatur
711 Memorial Dr. S. W Decatur, AL 35601
Published in the Decatur Daily on Jan. 10, 2014