Cud Baird IV, 75

SOUTHBRIDGE — Cud T. Baird, IV, 75, passed away on Monday, Dec. 24, in the Southridge Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, after a long illness.

He leaves his wife of 20 years, Bonnie A. (Benvenuti) Baird; his daughter, Ava Simon; and his sister, Norma Ruth Stice of Jacksonville, Fla.  He was predeceased by his identical twin brother, Bruce Larkin Baird in December of 2017 and his sister, Lucinda Lee Boyd in April of 2013.  He was born in Mineral Wells, TX the son of Cud T. and Ruth (Buchanan) Baird, III.  Growing up, Cud was a member of a military family. They moved frequently both domestically and abroad. Some of his childhood homes included China, Japan, Taiwan, California, Kansas and Virginia.  His favorite school memories were of attending Annandale High School in Virginia where he was extremely active in sports.  He was a member of the 1959 Annandale Varsity Football Team.  They went undefeated which resulted in achieving the State title as well as induction into the High School Sports Hall of Fame.  Cud was an Eagle Scout and his entire life’s ethics reflected an adherence to scouting and its values.

Cud attended Vanderbilt University where he achieved a degree in Chemical Engineering.  He worked for several companies including Conoco and an overseas company, Armada, which again returned his life to overseas travel.  He lived and worked in Switzerland as well as Saudi Arabia with the Saudi Aramco Oil Co.  For several years Mr. Baird owned his own petroleum consulting business, HPI Consultants, Inc.  One of his biggest achievements was the publication of “GUIDE TO PETROLEUM PRODUCT BLENDING”, a technical manual which is still utilized as a standard within the petroleum industry.  Cud was an avid reader.  He loved music and sports and was a fan of both the Red Sox and the Patriots.  He was a fair-minded man and it must be said that he was a big supporter of women.  He never hesitated to state that on an intellectual level a woman could be any man’s equal.

Upon retirement from his busy and demanding career, Cud received his most rewarding assignment ever, he became father to Ava in his later years.  He never denied his enthusiasm for singing songs, pushing the stroller, and overall care of his infant daughter.  He could be found in the playground lifting Ava to all sorts of slides and jungle gyms.  He was indeed a most excellent and dedicated father.  He would say that his life raising Ana was a “most unexpected joy!”

In 2010 Mr. Baird was diagnosed with a dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.  He bore this news with great courage and rarely gave into melancholy.  He continued to push himself to be productive until the task became insurmountable.  He departed this world at age 75 and surely would have been greeted with nothing less than “job well done!”

A funeral Mass for Cud will be held on Friday, Dec. 28, at 11:00am in St. Mary’s Church of the St. John Paul II Parish, 263 Hamilton St., Southbridge.  Burial will be private.  There are no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Accord Adult Daycare Program, 10 Cudworth Rd., Webster, MA 01507; or Tri-Valley Elder Services, 10 Mill St., Dudley, MA 01571; or Southbridge Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center Activities Fund, 84 Chapin St., Southbridge, MA 01550.  The people of these organizations along with their compassionate care saw the Baird family through some difficult chapters.  To all, we say “thank you”.

The Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home, 130 Hamilton St., Southbridge, is directing arrangements.

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