Sylvia (Tschetter) Baird


Sylvia (Tschetter) Baird, 81, passed away Monday, Sept. 8, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph.

She was born on March 23, 1933, in Carpenter, S.D., to the Rev. John P. and Sarah (Walter) Tschetter.

She grew up in Nebraska and South Dakota, graduating from Lewellen (Neb.) High School in 1950 and going on to Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind.

She was married in Huron, S.D., to John A. Baird of Niles, Mich., on August 24, 1957.

Sylvia earned a bachelor of science in elementary education from Bethel in 1958 and did some elementary-school teaching before devoting full time to raising six children and serving as a pastor’s wife.

She and husband John had six children: David Baird (Inge), Anderson, Ind; Danette Baird, Muncie, Ind; John S. Baird (Deloris), Baroda, Mich.; Sharon Baird, Crest Hill, Ill.; Daniel Baird (Mary), Granger, Ind.; and Valerie De Lara (Roberto), Crest Hill, Ill.

Sylvia’s life revolved around her husband, children and grandchildren, and all appreciated her love, loyalty and dedication.

As a pastor’s wife for many years at the Church of God in Baroda and in other congregations, Sylvia taught Sunday school, told “flannel graph” stories to children, and played the piano for church services. She also played the accordion, enjoyed writing poetry, and was a skilled seamstress. After her husband’s retirement from the ministry, the couple attended Washington Avenue Church of God in St. Joseph.

She particularly enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, going on cruises, and baking bread—once receiving a plaque from her children when she reached the 1,000-loaf mark.

She began keeping a daily diary on January 1, 1949, when she was in high school. She maintained the diary without missing a day until March 1, 2012, when her failing eyesight and health forced an end to her entries. Her husband continued to keep the diary as he was able.

She is survived by her husband and six children, as well as six grandchildren: Heike (Baird) Young, Culver City, Calif.; Wesley Baird, Anderson, Ind; Jonathan, Christopher and Kaitlyn Baird, all of Baroda; and Gabriella De Lara, Crest Hill, Ill. She also is survived by a sister, Rhoda (Vernon) Rhoads, Olathe, Kan.

Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents as well as two brothers: Walter Tschetter of Nolanville, Texas, and Gerald Tschetter of Sarasota, Fla.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, September 12, 2014 at Washington Avenue Church of God, 4051 Washington Ave., St. Joseph, with Pastor Andy Hannich officiating. Burial will follow at Hickory Bluff Cemetery in Stevensville. Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Thursday, September 11, 2014 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to Bethel College via Gifts should be designated for “Sylvia Baird scholarship.” Those wishing to share a memory of Sylvia online may do so at