Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Donald Gene Baehr, SMSgt., USAF (Retired)April 19, 1938 – April 03, 2015
SMSgt. Donald Baehr was born April, 19, 1938 in Beardstown, IL, and passed away at home with his family on Friday, April 3, 2015.
Don served in the United States Air Force from 1955 to 1981 and retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. From 1962 to 1981 he was a Pararescueman and was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a highly decorated serviceman and was awarded the Bronze Star.
After leaving the Air Force he worked with the Honeywell Corporation for 10 years as an armorer and trainer. Don worked with Integrated Technology Partnerships for five years after that and was instrumental in creating and conducting the defensive driving program for VIP protection of foreign government dignitaries. Don enjoyed racing cars and had a passion for horses. He managed base operated horse stables, and initiated and managed PRC rodeos on Kirtland Air Force Base.
Don is survived by his wife Kaye Kersey; sons, Doug Baehr and wife Jennifer, Bruce Martin and wife Carla; daughters, Dawn Ferguson and husband Steve, Tonya Higdon and husband Daniel; his grandchildren Jenny, Shane, Shaya, Amber, Mariah, Emma Chase, Ryan, Cailynn, Jaedyn, Matt, Sherri, Jaclynn, and Gevin; 8 great grandchildren as well as many other family members and friends who loved and will miss him.
A graveside memorial service will be held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm. The procession will start at Hobby Lobby just north of I-40 on Juan Tabo in Albuquerque at 12:30 pm.
Donations are welcome in his name to the New Mexico Cancer Center, 4901 Lang Ave. NE Alb. N.M. 87109. Arrangements by Direct Funeral Services, 2919 4th St. NW. ABQ. 505-343-8008.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 12, 2015
April 14, 2015Don was the most sincere person I have encountered in my career. I will always appreciate his mentorship in the training field as well as his friendship each and every day not to mention his “tough love” horseback lessons. He was also the most “loyal lunch partner” I ever had. Many good times in many many many restaurants. He will be missed by all who knew him. My condolences to his family.~Mike Alessi, Albuquerque, NM
April 12, 2015Everything: What a kind, humble, generous, and true friend. Was always quick to drop what he was doing to help anyone in need. He loved his wife, Kaye, unconditionally. He will be missed more than words can say. What a blessing it was to have known Don.~Bobbie