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Norman Vinsel Bair

| September 23, 2019

COSHOCTON – Norman Vinsel Bair passed away on September 17, 2019, at age 78.  Born to Edward Norman Bair and Erma Kathleen Bair on January 5, 1941, Norm was a life-long resident of Coshocton, Ohio.  His parents predeceased him, as did his sister, Astrid Marlys Manning of Trumbull, Connecticut, and his second wife, Diane Tidrick of Coshocton.

Norm, who over the years was variously known as Bink, Normie, Gomer, Stormin’ Norman, and Angus, leaves behind a sister, Linda (Bob) Wagner of Boston, Massachusetts; his first wife, Diane Louise McKay of Charlotte, North Carolina; and his loving friend, Ruth Ann Tyson of Coshocton.  He leaves two daughters, Melissa (Rob) Smith of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jennifer (Neil) Stark of Columbus, Ohio.  He dearly loved his grandchildren, Kelsey Brooke Smith and Riley Breese Smith of Charlotte, and Jace Tidrick of Coshocton.

As a youngster, Norman was a member of the Winner 4-H Club run by Blair Porteus.  His favorite show animals were Licorice, a calf he bought from Arthur Erman, and his prized pig, Petunia.  Decades later, his daughters were also members of the same club and he helped them show sheep, goats, and horses.

He graduated from Plainfield High School, playing basketball and hanging out at Addy’s General Store, sometimes eating a whole jar of olives before ball practice.  After high school, he worked on the farm of Arthur and Ruth Erman, earning one dollar a day plus dinner, in addition to tending the family spread, Bair’s Dividing Ridge Farm.  Norm was the last of eight generations to continuously farm that land, raising Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep, goats, horses, and ponies, and growing soybeans, corn, hay, and wheat.

During the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the Air Force Reserves and did basic training at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, Texas.  He served as a mechanic with the 906th Combat Support Squad at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Wilmington, Ohio.  After the Air Force, Norm went to work at General Electric in the plastics and laminate factory.  Since farming and GE were not enough to keep him busy, he became a substitute rural route driver for the U.S. Post Office and earned his auctioneer’s license.  He became a full-time mail carrier after his retirement from GE, often speaking proudly of having carried mail to two-thirds of Coshocton County.  His last route was RFD 4, which took him through Plainfield, right by Bair’s Dividing Ridge Farm, past St. Paul’s Church and Cemetery, past Emmanuel Lutheran Church where he was a member, and into Pleasant Valley where his children went to elementary school.  He always carried his Bible under the driver’s seat.

Norm lovingly supported his daughters while they were in school, was a member of the River View Band Boosters, and would get up at 5:00 in the morning to peel potatoes for the River View Fair Stand.  He often drove the marching band bus and served as chaperone for band trips to Columbus, Orlando, and Myrtle Beach.  He had a life-long affection for the machines that were the tools of his trades: John Deere tractors, Ford trucks, and Wheel Horse lawn tractors.

A memorial service for Norman will be held at St. Paul’s Cemetery on Twp. Rd 146 at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 28, 2019 with Pastors Starkey Lawrence and Mark Brodbeck officiating. The Coshocton County Veterans Council will be performing military honors as well. The family will be greeting friends and family prior to the service from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the cemetery. The family has requested that attendees dress casual for this affair: jeans and boots are welcome.

The family expresses deepest gratitude to Altercare, Signature Healthcare, Coshocton County Memorial Hospital, and Genesis Healthcare for their kind and compassionate care.  The outpour of support from his family and friends who came to visit him over the past few weeks meant as much to him as spending his final days in his beloved Coshocton.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to Interim Healthcare Hospice of Coshocton, the Kidney Foundation, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Newcomerstown or Shepard’s Christian Assembly.

An online memorial service can be viewed at www.given-dawson-paisleyfh.com.

Category: Obituaries

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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