At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
American Red Cross
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Jim Baier lived a life of purpose and dedication to others. He was hardworking and devoted to helping his students achieve their very best. A husband, father, and grandfather, Jim enjoyed seeing so many amazing places with his family by his side. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
The year 1941 is often recalled as the year of the vicious attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor. It was just prior to this historic day that Ernest and Ione (Maxwell) Baier announced the birth of the baby boy they named Jim on June 20, 1941. Born and raised in Cheboygan, Michigan, he was the oldest of three boys as he was joined in his family by his brothers, Daniel and Wally. In many ways they were typical boys of their generation who were often found playing jokes with each other. As a student Jim attended Catholic schools including St. Charles, which was located just down the street. He had several cousins who all lived nearby and attended the same school. Jim remained close to these cousins throughout his life.
After graduating from high school in 1959, Jim was eager for all that life had in store. He went to Central Michigan University for his undergrad and then earned his master’s in education from Purdue later on. Jim spent about three years in Munising in the Upper Peninsula, which is where she stared his teaching career. He loved his time living there and truly enjoyed all that the U.P. has to offer.
Not to be forgotten during this time was Jim’s introduction to the woman who would change the course of his life forever. Her name was Jorene Nasif, and they had their first date at the drive-in. That date led to more dates, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Jim and Jorene were married on August 14, 1965, at St. Charles Catholic Church in Cheboygan. After a honeymoon at Yellowstone National Park, the couple was excited to begin their new life together. Later, they welcomed two daughters, Jamie and Johnna, into their hearts and home.
The bulk of Jim’s teaching career was spent teaching United States History, Michigan History, and Government at Oscoda High School for 34 years. He loved being a teacher and was also the yearbook advisor as he liked taking pictures. Jim found it so rewarding to inspire his students, and he took great pride in receiving Christmas cards from his former students. In 2002 he retired from the high school, and he also spent many years teaching at Alpena Community College. With a great love for his community Jim also was elected as Oscoda Trustee and Township Supervisor.
Throughout his life Jim was a man of many interests. He enjoyed taking pictures and family travel pictures from their summer trips that he often turned into slides to use in his classroom. Jim never missed reading all the historical plaques as they traveled all over every summer, usually to visit national parks. Jim also enjoyed nature walks and canoeing on the AuSable River. He also collected, stamps, beer cans, and coins along with lots of other stuff. Jim loved watching the news, and everyone knew not to interrupt the 6:30 p.m. news. He read non-fiction and lots of history books on Presidents and other history. Jim enjoyed the companionship of dogs over the years including their recent dog, Cooper. He attended Catholic church throughout his life, and recently he loved getting out of the house for his Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
All who knew Jim Baier could easily see his passion as a teacher. He was great at talking with kids, and he could always relate to his grandkids. Jim could be sentimental and loved telling old stories, and he was touched by the little things. He will never be forgotten.
Jim Baier, of Oscoda, Age 80, died September 7, 2021 in Mattawan, MI. Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Jorene Baier in 2020 and by 2 brothers: Daniel and Wally Baier. Surviving are his 2 daughters: Jamie (Dr. John) Lawlor and Johnna (Mike) Makuch; 4 grandchildren: David, Kate, Petra and Myah; and 2 sisters-in-law: Joan and Peggy Baier. Cremation has taken place and private services will be held. Visit Jim’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to American Red Cross. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.