Gary Bair
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Captain Gary Bair USN (Ret.) passed away on Sunday, February 28, 2021. He loved his family, his friends, and his country. Gary adored Norma Jean Hardin Bair, his wife of 49 years, whom he lost in 2014. He was so proud of his surviving sons John Scott Bair and Paul Barton "Bart" Bair, daughter-in-law Lori Cavicchi Bair, and grand-daughters Kaylin Marie Bair and Gillian Diane Bair. He was born and raised in Pleasantville, NY in 1939, son of John William and Margaret Elizabeth McCauley Bair, and brother of Theodore "Ted" Bair (deceased) and John "Jock" Bair of Dallas TX. He was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy 1957 and Amherst College 1961. Captain Bair served nearly 32 years of active Naval service as a designated Surface Warfare Officer. 15 of his first 18 years were on sea duty in cruisers and destroyers, nearly all of his last 15 years in command, including the destroyer USS CORRY (DD817), Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Centers in Santa Monica and Encino CA, Naval Reserve Readiness Command – Great Lakes, and Naval Support Activity – New Orleans, where he founded the Algiers Armed Forces Festival. He made three Pacific Vietnam deployments. As Deputy Commander of the 126,000 members of the Naval Surface Reserve Force, he directed the mobilization of 21,000 naval reservists for the first Gulf War. He received two Legion of Merit Awards, two Meritorious Service Awards, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal, among many awards. Gary was extremely active in voluntary service to the New Orleans community since retiring from the Navy in 1993, almost always in positions of leadership. He has been serving as the Commander of the New Orleans Commandery of the Naval Order of the US the past 25 years, and as Chairman of the Belle Chasse Education Foundation (ten years). He recently served as Vice-President for Membership and for Sea Cadets of the Greater New Orleans Council of the Navy League of the US, and as President of The Friends of the Algiers Courthouse. He was a founding member and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Belle Chasse Academy, the first charter school on a military base in the country. He was President of Tall Timbers Owners Association and the Pachyderm Club of Greater New Orleans. He was a founding member and Vice-Chairman of the Algiers Development District, and Vice -President of Junior Achievement for Southeast Louisiana. A member of the Kiwanis Club of Algiers since 1990, he twice served as President and was twice named Kiwanian of the Year. He was honored by Kiwanis International as a Life Member. He was an active member of the Mayor's Military Advisory Committee, American Legion Post 23, and the Chalmette Refining Westbank Citizens Advisory Panel. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Funeral Service in the chapel of Mothe Funeral Home, 2100 Westbank Expwy., Harvey, LA on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 1:30 pm. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Saturday from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, 2533 Columbus St. Suite 202, New Orleans LA 70119. Family and friends may view and sign the online guest book at

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Published in The Times-Picayune from Mar. 3 to Mar. 13, 2021.
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6 entries
March 11, 2021
When I joined Kiwanis of Algiers in 2007 Gary welcomed me with graciousness. We worked on Wednesdays on the Point together and began a year-long friendship. He was a leader, a visionary, and a friend. Our community has lost a true supporter. I have lost a dear man who I deeply respected and admired.
Carol Osborne
March 9, 2021
He was a Wonderful Man who was my Uncle & he will be deeply missed by his family & friends. But now he’s back with my Aunt Norma, his parents & his older brother Ted, my father. God Bless You Uncle Gary. ❤
Diana Bair Petersen
March 7, 2021
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March 5, 2021
We chose him for our best man in 1958 and he became one of the world’s best men. Our hearts are hurting.
Charles and Rhona Nunez
March 4, 2021
I was very sorry to learn of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your dad.
Dick Chopin
March 3, 2021
There really are no words to express our deep sadness over the loss of our dearly loved friend Gary Bair. And yet, we are confident that he is in a far better place with Norma close by his side. Our memories of good times,good food, meeting new friends, and adventures in both near and distant places are far too many to enumerate.
ALL our love and prayers always,
Andy and Mary Lawrence
Andy and Mary Lawrence
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