We are putting this Celebration of Ora's Franklin Baird's life out at this time for family and friends to read because of the fact that he lived and died in Eugene, Ore., and nothing ever made it to our local newspaper. Therefore, there may be many people who don't know of the fact that Ora has went to be with the Lord. This notice fell through the cracks because of his wishes to be cremated and, therefore, was not a traditional funeral, and memorial service held in Oregon was held many weeks later.
Ora Franklin Baird was born into the family of Marvin (Wayne) and Ella Belle (Hersman) Baird. He was born Feb. 17, 1944. He was named after his grandfather. He was the fourth of seven children and the youngest son. There was seven years between him and his three sisters, Linda Macias, Louise Woodall and Regina Baird. Sara, Marvin and John were older.
He was preceded in death by his mother and baby sister Regina, who died in the same car accident in 1970. Also his father, Wayne, has also went to be with the Lord, as well as his grandparents and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Ora grew up in Gallia County and his parents were farmers when he was born, but he grew up in Kanauga at a place called the Ohio Valley Wrecking Co. This wrecking yard and our home were on the property where the Bob Evans restaurant now stands. Our father had left the farm to become a mechanic and the owner of this wrecking yard. Ora and his brothers worked and learned to be mechanics in the used auto parts and salvage business. It was later sold.
After Ora was out of high school, he did mechanic work until he went into the Marine Corps in 1963. Parris Island, S.C., was home for a while. Then he went to jet engine school and worked on aircraft while in the Marine Corps. His brother John was also a jet engine mechanic in the Marines. His older brother Marvin was also a Marine and worked on aircraft. All three wound up at El Toro, Calif., for a time. Ora served side by side with his older brother Marvin for six months in Vietnam in 1966.
After Ora was discharged from the Marines in 1967, he returned to Gallipolis. After spending some time getting used to civilian life again, he went to work at the Goodyear plant in Apple Grove, W.Va. Later that year, Marvin and he worked together at Goodyear. They also survived going to work every day for two years, in a small boat with a 2 ½ hosepower motor crossing the Ohio River below the dam at the Silver Bridge fell.
After the Silver Bridge fell, Ora befriended a girl named Marty whose husband had died on the bridge. Her husband was one of Ora's friends. His intent was to be a friend to her while she was dealing with her husband's death and having a son (Lee Higley). Marty had two sons, Robbie and Lee.
Ora and Marty's relationship grew and they were later married. Ora and Marty later had a daughter named Terri. They lived in a home in Plants Subdivision until his mother died and then he moved into her house on Shoestring Ridge. Ora and his family later moved to Florida.
After being in Florida for a period of time, they got a divorce. Because of the divorce, he moved to California, where his brother John was living after getting out of the Marine Corps. He soon moved his three children to California to take care of them.
Ora and John became partners in a Chevron station and garage, where they did mechanic work. While in California, Ora married again. His second wife is Alice. She had two daughters. After some time, Ora and John lost their business to urban renewal. At that point, they went their separate ways.
Ora moved to Eugene and John moved to Reno, Nev. While in Oregon, Ora continued his ownership of service station and mechanic businesses. As things changed and Ora got older, he got out of the service station business and operated a convenience store – a 7-11.
Ora died of a heart attack while working in his yard with his wife, Alice, very suddenly and unexpectedly the evening of July 10, 2013.
Ora is survived by his wife, Alice, of Eugene; daughter Terri; two stepdaughters, Laura, of Eugene, and Tara, of southern California; two stepsons, Lee Baird, of Michigan, and Robbie Baird; three sisters, Sara Cheney and her children Tim, Richard, Carla and Delman, all of Gallipolis, and Carl Leonard, of Maryland, Linda and Richard Macias, of Gallipolis, and Louise Woodall and her children, Chris Somerville, of Popint Pleasant, W.Va., and Tabby Somerville, Joseph Woodall, Shelly Tate and Andrea Preston, all of Gallipolis; two brothers, Marvin L. and Phyllis Baird, of Gallipolis, and their children Marvin R., of Gallipolis, and Angie Baird, of Huntington, W.Va., and John William and Ellen Baird, of Reno; stepmother Dorothy Baird; three half-brothers, Mike Baird, Phil Baird and Charles "Cricket" Baird, all of Gallipolis; three half-sisters, Patty Simms, of Camden, Ohio, Hope Armstrong, of Cross Plains, Tenn., and Gail Baird, of Gallipolis; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins of all ages.