Richard Kelley Baird, 88, of Marshall, TX passed away peacefully at his home on February 21, 2021. He was born October 30, 1932 in Gastonia, NC to Ancil Roscoe Baird and Minnie Beatrice Kelley Baird. He received a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1958. He was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and President his last two years at UT. He then married Helen Thompson of Lexington, MS and the newlyweds moved to Marshall for his first assignment as a chemical engineer for Darco Experimental Laboratory.
In 1960, he was transferred to Wilmington, DL where he was Production Superintendent at Atlas Powder Company. While living in Delaware he was elected to the Stanton School District School Board.
Upon moving back to Marshall in 1975, he became a well-known civic leader. He was the Plant Manager and later the Executive Vice President at Norit Americas. He served as President of the Marshall Chamber of Commerce, Marshall Rotary Club, Texas Mining and Reclamation Council of America, Harrison County United Way and was on the boards of the Memorial Hospital, First National Bank and Lakeside Country Club. He was an active member at First Baptist Church in Marshall, serving as a Sunday School teacher and Chairman of the Deacons.
After Kelley retired from Norit in 1992, he and Helen spent 15 years enjoying life in Hot Springs Village, AR where Kelley could be found on the golf course or playing duplicate bridge with Helen. Kelley had been battling cancer since 2012. We are grateful for Emma Ritter, FNP-BC and all of the other health care providers who have taken care of Kelley during the last 9 years.
Mr. Baird is survived by his wife: Helen of Marshall; daughter: Cynthia Baird Horsley (Chris) of Marshall, son: Richard Kelley Baird, Jr. (Michael) of Houston, grandchildren: Allison Horsley Westmoreland (Harrison) of Fort Worth, Michelle Horsley Poehlmann (Luke) of Spring Branch, TX, Rebecca Horsley Beaton (Joshua) of Austin, great grandchildren: George and Charles Westmoreland; Annie, Heidi, and Hans Poehlmann, and brother: Ancil Baird of Seneca, SC. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister: Ann Swofford.
There will be no services due to COVID. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory to First Baptist Church, Marshall and the American Cancer Society.
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