Baird, Gail Linda
Nov. 21, 1939 - Mar. 25, 2013
Gail Linda Baird, cherished mother of Eric, Deirdre and Scott, mother-in-law to Mona and Matt, Omi to Logan, Parker, Ava, Hayden, Liam, McKenzie and Alexandra, and dearest friend of Bill, went to heaven on Monday, March 25 at the age of 73. Gail was born in Brooklyn, NY, the only child of Ruth and Reinhard Haid. She moved to Baldwin, Long Island in her teens. After receiving her bachelor's degree from Muhlenberg College and her master's from Hoftstra University, she married William Wallace Baird, an army officer in the 101st Airborne, and spent 25 years living in a variety of locations around the world including 12 years in Germany and 4 years in Iran. Gail's great loves were her children, traveling, and life. She brightened the world of every person she met with strength, courage, and passion beyond compare.
Gail was the consummate entrepreneur and an incredible business woman. She began by selling imported Persian Samovar in Germany, and after a number of increasingly successful ventures, risked everything to launch the first ever catalog of catalogs called Shop The World By Mail which brought American goods to international customers in 75 countries. Never afraid to take risks and fueled by unfailing determination and extraordinary passion for her work, she not only found tremendous personal success, but also taught and inspired her children: "You can achieve anything in the world as long as you believe in your heart in what you are doing and are willing to work hard enough to get there".
An adventurer with an insatiable curiosity, Gail loved to travel and explore cultures around the world. While she traversed the globe and visited over 70 countries, she was happiest when meeting people outside the mainstream, from the horseman of Mongolia to the forest people of Papua New Guinea. She adorned her home with unique and whimsical items from her expeditions and enchanted young and old with funny, touching, and harrowing tales of her exploits. In each of her treasures her stories live on, inspiring us, lifting us from the mundane and reminding us always that the world is one of beauty, wonder and limitless possibilities.
Five years ago, Gail was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Time and time again, doctors said Gail would not make it. Time and time again, Gail proved them wrong. Enduring hundreds of complications and hospitalizations, Gail continued to fight and never gave up. Ovarian cancer did not kill Gail Baird but it did allow her to teach her family, her friends and the many doctors and nurses she met, what 'courage' really means. We hope the memory of her incredible smile in the face of unbelievable adversity shall forever remind all those fortunate to have met her to never give up.
On Sunday, March 17 her face lit up, she smiled and told us that she had seen heaven and that God had asked her to come home. She was absolutely radiant, at peace and so eager to go. But she didn't leave us right away. After a lifetime of gifts, she had one more she wanted to give us. Time to hold her hand, time to sing with her, to laugh with her, to see her beautiful smile, to be utterly humbled by her strength and spirit. Time to let her go. She will remain with us always - in the sunlight, in the moon shimmering diamonds on the water, in the twinkle of the stars, in the birds flying majestically in the sky, and, most of all, in the sparkling eyes of our children. In the end as it was always, Gail's spirit could not be broken - she simply smiled and embarked on one last journey - to her home with God.
Friends and family, please join us for a celebration of Gail's life on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 PM at 40 North Orange Avenue, Sarasota. In lieu of flowers, please help support women with ovarian cancer at http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/GailBaird