Ware - Evelyn E. (Kunow) Baird, 87, of Ware, died on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at home with her loving family by her side.
She leaves her five children, David Baird, Dawn Baird and her partner Steven Vaccaro, Scott Baird, Bonnie and her husband Edward Kent, Jr., and Laurie and her husband Rich Holden; her grandchildren, Michael, Heidi, Heather, Crystal, Zachary, Tiffany, Kenzi, David Joseph, Kirsten, Jonathan, Kurtis and Chelsea, her 12 great-grandchildren as well as her two sisters-in-law, Myra Baird Herce of Queens, NY and Helga Kunow of Binghamton, NY. She was predeceased by her brothers, Gilbert Kunow and Aaron Kunow. She was born in New York, daughter of the late Alfred and Agnes (Maas) Kunow.
Our mom’s wish was to be remembered for who she was and have a private “celebration of life.” She wanted her immediate family to reminisce on all of the wonderful times we’ve had together. Anyone who knew her knew that family was her world.
With our mother we always felt loved and capable of anything. She had an amazing ability to love everyone and make anyone feel special. She always fostered children and added to our family with our adopted brother, David. The adoption of David showed us that love does not need to come from biology (DNA) but from the heart. When he joined our family, it was as though he had always been part of it.
She never stopped giving and found a way to share her talents. She was well known for her wedding cakes, a skill she learned from her parents’ NY bakery, and always refused to accept payments because they were “a labor of love”.
Evelyn opened up the Teen Center in Ware, so the youth could have fun and safe place to congregate. She also served on the board of Valley Human Services for many years and owned and operated Hair Plus.
She was always putting everyone else first and would make time even if there was none. She never made you feel like it was an inconvenience. She would drop everything to help an animal, a person, and especially her family. Countless times she bailed all of her children out with babysitting. Making us and her grandchildren believe it was an honor and privilege. Many times, there would be all 8 grandchildren sleeping over. She always made them feel special decorating t-shirts, painting rocks, playing endless board games, and making them her special blueberry pancakes. We always joked that if one of the grandchildren ran away, we would check her house first.
She would only take vacations that centered around her family. She loved going on trips and was always up for an adventure. Even at 82, she would think nothing of driving to New York for the day to visit her best friend and sister-in-law, Helga. She would travel to the city to visit her other sister-in-law, Myra, to go out to eat at their favorite Palace Diner. In a well-remembered family road trip to Florida and Mom wanted to show her children that they could do anything, so Dawn took the wheel of the Winnebago with only her drivers permit.
Everyone who knew our mother also knew she had a great love of animals. She raised many Arabian horses and dogs, especially her German Shepherds. As much fun as we had growing up on a big farm with all of the animals, she also instilled in us how important it is to take care of animals. One funny memory that comes to mind when thinking about her love of family and animals is the one time, she sent Bonnie and Laurie to a horse camp for a week. At the end of camp, our mom won the “daily camper” award. She came to visit them every day on what was supposed to be a sleep away camp.
Our mother made time for all of us even as she got older and some of the trips became less frequent. Scott can attest to the daily phone calls that would bring her so much joy and laughter. They called each other daily and even sometimes 3-4 times a day! She would also talk regularly to Helga. Almost daily they would watch a movie together (states apart from each other) on the phone and at commercials talk about the movie. She learned how to use Facebook, facetime, and the portal to talk to everyone, especially her great grandchildren. Nothing made her happier than seeing all of the great grandbabies.
As her health declined, she chose to live with Laurie and Rich so she could receive the love, incredible care and complete attention she deserved. When the time came to pass, she was surrounded by love. All of her children and her grandchildren were able to be with her at home, holding her hands as she left the physical world to be reunited with her brothers, parents, and God.
We are left now not only with her memory but with a piece of her in each of us. If any of us can be even half as good as she was, then that’s a job well done!
A Celebration of Life for Evelyn will be held privately. As requested, there will be no Calling Hours.
Charbonneau Funeral Home, 30 Pleasant St., in Ware is assisting her family with arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Evelyn E. (Kunow) Baird, please visit our floral store.