Van Kent Baird, 76, of Eldorado, passed away Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 at his residence.
He was born in Eldorado on Dec. 25, 1941 to John O. and Audrey Crane Baird. On Jan. 22, 1966, he married Barbara Kanady and she survives.
He was a graduate of Eldorado Township High School Class of 1959. After receiving a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University, he worked as a teacher in the Eldorado Unit 4 school system from 1967-2002.
Prior to teaching in Eldorado, he taught school in Dale from 1964-1966. He served as past president of Eldorado Education Association, a junior high basketball and track coach, former GED instructor at Southeastern Illinois College, past president of Saline-Gallatin Retired Teachers Association, former Illinois Retired Teachers Association-Region 18 legislative chairman, member of the Regional Planning and Development Commission, former finance commissioner and member of Eldorado City Council, Eldorado Democratic precinct committeeman, and former vice chairman of the Saline County Democrat Party.
He also owned and operated Personal Touch Trophy. He loved horses, camping, politics, woodworking, and especially his grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, Barbara, he is survived by daughters Mindy (Dan) Loudy of Eldorado and Cheryl (James) Tuttle of Galatia; brothers Keith (Sheila) Baird of Eldorado and Max (Kathy) Baird of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin; grandsons Grant Loudy of Eldorado, Lance Cpl. James (Jay) Tuttle of Camp Pendelton, California and John Tuttle of Galatia; granddaughter Jessica Tuttle of Galatia; sister-in-law Wilmetta Baird of Eldorado; special friend Brenda Gotkin; dialysis nurse Danielle Griffin and family; and also two nieces and two nephews.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Bennie Baird, and also by a niece.
Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday Sept. 12, 2018 at Watson Funeral Home in Eldorado with the Rev. Aaron Phelps and Scott Pilkington officiating. Burial will follow in Dodd Cemetery in Eldorado.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 at Watson Funeral Home.
Online condolences to the family may be made at www.watsonfuneralhome.net.