Richard A. Baer

July 15, 1937 ‒ May 12, 2019

Gambier, Ohio

Richard A. Baer, age 81, of Gambier passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at the Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.

He was born on July 15, 1937 in Scranton, Pennsylvania to the late Arthur and Ethel (Deppe) Baer.  Richard came to Ohio in 1959 after serving four years in the United States Army.  He was employed at Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company from 1959-1975.

Richard was sworn in as Mayor of Gambier, Ohio on January 3, 1966 and was one of the youngest mayors in the State of Ohio.  He served until May of 1989 when he resigned and was appointed Village Administrator.  He retired from being the Village Administrator on March 31, 2000.

Some of Richard’s accomplishments while working with the Village of Gambier where; 1969 he  started police protection with a full-time county deputy, 1976 rebuilt village water system and contracted with Mount Vernon City for water service, 1977 purchased the Gambier Elementary School and had it remodeled into becoming the Gambier Community Center, 1978 started the Gambier Library, 1988 started village-wide recycling program, 1989 computerized the accounting system, water and sewer records and billing for the village, between 1994 and 1996 helped design and oversee the construction of a 3.7 million dollar sewer plant upgrade.

Richard was a member of the Gambier Volunteer Fire Department from 1963-1988 and was one of the original group of volunteers.  He was a chairperson of the Regional Planning Commission for Knox County for three years and then its full-time director for ten years.  Most recently he volunteered and ran the Knox County Genealogy Library.  Richard was also a member of the Gambier United Methodist Church.

Richard is survived by his wife, of over 56 years, Mary “Frankie” Baer; his son Bill (Yvonne Sanson) Baer; three grandchildren, Miranda (Chris Clayton) Baer, Jessica Baer, Richard Ethan Baer; two great grandchildren, Stella and Natalie; his brothers, Daniel (Barb) Baer, John Baer, Art (Janet) Baer; his sister Joan (Robert) Bunsey; and additional family Molly Baer.

In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by his sister Carolyn Simpson.

Friends may call on Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 5-8PM at the Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home.  A service will be held on Friday, at the funeral home, beginning at 11AM with Rev. Lee Cubie officiating.  Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Gambier.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Knox County Animal Shelter.

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  • Frankie,

    So sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. I didn’t realize that he was such a talented man. So dedicated to the community also. He will certainly be missed by so many and especially by you.

    Phyllis (Dial) Griffith.

  • Mary, and family, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. You have my deepest sympathy, love, Bonnie Beeman

  • Uncle Dick’s passing leaves a big hole in our family. I will miss the impish twinkle in his eyes and his hearty laugh. He accomplished so many things, impacted so many lives, and always followed his interests passionately. Aunt Frankie and Cousin Bill, my heart goes out to you.

  • Dick didn’t work for the Village, he cared for it. Gambier is the stable, livable place it is today because of his dedication, careful budgeting and total bullheadedness that no one or thing would hurt this town. We have lost our most diligent historian. He knew where every water pipe was, when it was installed, and sometimes where it should have been instead. He set the bar for honesty, hard work and doing your best. Those of us working with him felt we needed to continue that level of care after he retired, and often asked each other what Dick would do before we made our decision. Although I will miss him, he’ll always be in my thoughts and fun memories.

    Frankie, Bill, and all; Phil and I send our deepest sympathies, and please let us know what we can do to help.

  • So sorry to hear of Dicks passing. He married my husband and I 37 years ago on May 15th. I also worked with him the year he worked at HR Block. He was a great person. He Will Be missed.

  • Won’t be able to make the calling hours but as I said before mr Baer was a fantastic man and definitely care about his constituents. We could use a lot more men like him bill and family so sorry for your loss

  • Dear Mary and Family, We were shocked and saddened to read about Dick’s passing. We are sending our deepest sympathy to all. What a wonderful legacy he leaves behind with all of his accomplishments and dedication to the community. He also leaves a loving family who will be there for you. May it help to know that you have friends who care. Our thoughts are with you all. Sincerely, Susie and Dick Huggins/Fredericktown

  • Frankie, Bill and families. Your Richard (Dick) was more than a husband and father and Grandpa and Uncle and friend… He was a concerned American who cared about the community where you and we all live. “If I could write for you a rainbow, I certainly would. Since I cannot write for you a rainbow, I send my love.

  • Frankie, So sorry to hear of the passing of Dick. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My heart goes out to you.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. As I met Dick in the ’70s when he hired me to take care of the cemetary accross the road from there home.As me and his mother and family became close friends as they seen I was taken care of while working bring me food and drinks in the hot sun.I always looked up to Dick and his mom as they were always there for me I am glad i got to see them a few years ago.Dick and his family will always be in my heart and will always love them for all the did for me.Sending prayes to the family and friends as God took another Angel away from us but he will always be watching over us.Sending my love and prayers to all as this as me very sad to see God needed him and took him from us.

  • Mary we were so sorry to read of Dick’s passing.Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Dick Baer was one of the most important acquaintances I made when I started to work at The Peoples Bank in Gambier. What a nice man! Though he was frustrated with Margaret Kunkel and me for trying to build a new bank building.! He said, “Couldn’t you have waited until I retired?” He lead us through that cyclone and it ended well with good for all.

    He could always make me smile and I deeply respected him and his family for their knowledge and contributions to the village and to the bank. He will be missed and remembered. I regret I can’t come to pay my respects in person but I will be thinking of him.

    Joan Jones

  • I only met Dick a couple times when I was a child but never heard anything but good things from my Father (Lewis “Dippy” Hoar). My Father always spoke very highly of Dick. They worked together at PPG. All my sympathies to his family.

  • SO SO SORRY.What a great man. The voice of Gambier. My sympathies to the family. Bob Harrod

  • Mary, Bill and family,

    I am so sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. I knew he had worn many different hats in the Gambier community, but I had no idea as to the enormous extent of his accomplishments and dedication to the village. They just don’t make them like him anymore, sadly. My sincere condolences to you all.

    Paige Black

  • Bill,
    Sorry to hear about your dad, he was a great man, i enjoyed the time working with him and you with the City. The city and of Gambier has lost one of its finest.

  • Dear Mary

    So sorry to hear of your loss. When I read all the things he had accomplished in his life, I don’t know how anyone could have kept up with him. What a wonderful legacy he has left behind for his family and the people of Gambier. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Pat Porter

  • Very sorry to read of Dick’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.