October 12, 2018
Ever the jokester, Duane Baier age 82, got the last laugh. All of the girls had gathered by six o'clock on the evening of October 1, 2018. Duane didn't pass until the next morning. He went to his Lord at 10:02 on October 2, 2018.
His youngest daughter was asked many years ago, "What does your daddy do?" Her response was, "Anything you want him to." That pretty much describes Duane.
Duane was the 5th of 15 children born to August and Bertha Meidinger Baier on May 1, 1936. He grew up in Missoula, Montana where only German was spoken in their home. He couldn't speak English when he started school so he spent most of the first grade playing in the sand box. Duane was a collector of junk that to him were treasures. It's been suggested he could take a pile of junk and build the Taj Mahal.
The teenager ventured off to join the US Navy. He served aboard the USS Kenneth Whiting during the Korean Conflict. When his enlistment was up, he returned to Missoula, married and had two children, Rick and Renae. He remained with the military both active and as a reservist for 32 years.
55 years ago, he married Janice (Jan) Drexel and adopted her three-year-old daughter, Kelli. They had three more daughters, Taani, Heidi and Mauri. Those six kids gave him a family of grandkids and great grandkids he that loved and who made him proud. Duane's mom said he was born with a hammer in his hand. He was lucky to have a job he loved as a carpenter. He could build anything he set his mind to or what Jan wanted. He always answered "no" when she asked him to do something then he figured out how to make her impossible idea work.
When the world was blessed with Vietnam, experienced construction workers were a prime commodity. The Baier family resided in sunny California but typical US government, off to scenic Rhode Island they went. The sailor in Duane loved the water.
He was happiest taking his kids and grandkids camping and water skiing or spending time with his 'LITTLE 'buddy, Reid, not so little anymore. He's now a grown man who helped his "Papa" get through his final days. They watched a zillion episodes of "Walker Texas Ranger". (Reid age 3 through 23)
Post Nam, Duane got an AA degree in construction management from American River Community College in Sacramento, California thanks to the GI Bill. In 1979, the family moved to Oklahoma where Duane went to work for the city of Oklahoma City. In 1984, the family moved to the Houston area where Duane worked in construction until his retirement in 2001.
He and Jan traveled the world and the USA. He promised Jan he would take her to three places when they married, Cape Cod, the South Pacific and Australia. He never got her to Australia but did get her to Europe, Cape Cod and the South Pacific.
After both suffered some serious illnesses in the early 2000s, they moved back to their beloved Montana where they lived for 9 years. They returned to Texas to be closer to their children in 2011.
A service for Duane is scheduled for October 26, 2018, at 11:00 AM, at the Congregational Church in Broadus.