Calvin Baird, 87, of Charlotte, NC died Monday, January 28, 2019 at Novant Presbyterian Hospital surrounded by family. He was born April 5, 1931 to Calvin B. Baird and Mary Smith Baird at old St. Peter’s Hospital in Charlotte.
Because he was born on Easter, his mother nicknamed him Bunny as a child and among family and friends, he was always known as “Bun.” Raised in Charlotte on Sardis Rd., he attended Sharon School through ninth grade.
He graduated from Central High School in 1949 and matriculated at Davidson College where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and graduated with the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1953.
Having joined the Naval Reserve in Charlotte while at Davidson, Bun received a commission in the US Navy and served on the USS Albany from 1953-55 where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. Subsequently he served for eight years in the Naval Reserves. He met his wife, Peggy Phillips in 1950 and they married on June 19, 1954 after she graduated from Queens College (now University).
In 1955, Bun began work on the MBA program at UNC. After one semester, he and Peggy moved to Charlotte and started a family. He began his career in commercial finance at Commercial National Bank in January 1956 and worked at Southeastern Financial Corporation from September 1957 – 1970 advancing to the position of Senior Vice President of Southeastern and Vice President of American Credit Corporation.
From 1970-71, he worked at American Bank and Trust Co. of Monroe as Vice President of Commercial Loan Administration and returned in 1971 to Southeastern Financial Corporation as Senior Vice President-Executive Vice President. In 1976, he joined Associates of North America as Senior Vice President to establish a factoring division in Charlotte. He retired from Associates in 1986 and was hired as President of Colonial Financial Services in Mt. Holly where he worked for 11 years, retiring in 1997. Bun has served on the board for Sharon Towers.
Peggy and their children and extended family were the most important part of Bun’s life. A lifelong and seventh generation member of Sardis Presbyterian Church, he considered Sardis a cherished second family. He served the church as elder and deacon and on numerous committees throughout his life. He worked for a number of years with the Boy Scout Troop 33 at Sardis.
Bun enjoyed family activities including annual camping trips, as well as backpacking on trails in the NC mountains. He enjoyed gatherings with family and friends at their beach house at Caswell Beach, NC and later their house on the waterway near Southport, NC. In 2014, Calvin and Peggy moved to a cottage at Sharon Towers.
Preceded in death by his parents, Bun is survived by his wife, Peggy Phillips Baird; daughters: Dr. Sara Lynn Baird and partner Laurelie Gheesling of Florence, AL; Patricia Baird Isley and husband, Patrick of Cary, NC; Susan Baird Davis and partner Mike Tennant of Charlotte; son: Dr. Philip Baird of Florence, AL; sister, Nancy Baird Bowling and husband Tom; nephew, David Bowling and wife Hollie; and, niece, Marianne Bowling Bowman, husband James, and their children Abbey and Austin.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary at Sardis Presbyterian Church (6100 Sardis Rd., Charlotte, NC 28270) with the Reverend Drs. Jane Fobel and Joe B. Martin presiding. There will be a reception in the Education Hall following the service.
Bun will be remembered for his extraordinary dedication and love for his family, his devotion to his faith and Sardis Presbyterian Church, his joyful spirit, his exceptional integrity, and his serving nature. He will be greatly missed but lovingly remembered.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the music ministry at Sardis Presbyterian Church (6100 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270), Sharon Towers Resident Assistance Fund, or Novant Health Hospice and Palliative Care (200 Hawthorne Ln., Charlotte, NC 28204).
Published in Charlotte Observer on Feb. 1, 2019