Karen Baird was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and an excellent artist and cook. She died in Wenatchee, Washington, on August 16, 2021, at the age of 78, after a brief illness.
The daughter of an orchardist, Karen grew up amongst the apple trees in Oroville, Washington, before attending Eastern Washington University. After graduation, she moved to Port Orford, Oregon. Working as a middle school teacher, she bravely taught classrooms full of raucous teenage boys the finer points of cooking and home economics.
She fell in love with a fellow teacher, Jim Baird, who had recently moved there from South Dakota. They were soon married. A year later, they moved to Coos Bay, Oregon, where Karen taught at North Bay Junior High and they raised their two children. Their love blossomed into a passionate, playful, and loving marriage of 55 years. When Jim retired in 2000, the couple moved back to live alongside the lake in Oroville.
Karen loved to paint, primarily with oil and water colors. She would always send her children and grandchildren elaborate, beautiful birthday cards each year as well as frequent care packages full of delectable cookies. Her artistic style was informed by the tole painting she did early on in her career. She was highly skilled in a variety of different crafts, including tatting, which she learned from Jim’s mother. Karen loved flowers: painting them, arranging them and growing them in her garden. In her later years, Karen resumed playing the piano, a practice that brought her great joy. She was also an active and skilled water skier and ice skater, well into her seventies. Karen maintained a deep and sustained love for her husband through the years. Their true love and devotion to each other was an inspiration and a shining example for the whole family.
Karen is survived by her husband, Jim, of Oroville, Washington; daughter and son and their spouses, Allison Baird (Nels Carlson) of Portland, Oregon and Jeff Baird (Reged Ahmad) of London, England and four grandchildren, Dane Carlson, Birgitta Carlson, Annika Carlson, and Kjel Carlson.
A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, September 11th at Pine Slope Cemetery, 511 6th Ave, Belle Fourche, South Dakota. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Cancer Care of North Central Washington at https://www.cancercarencw.com/Donate