Gene Baird, a longtime VMNH Volunteer, recently passed away at the age of 86

Gene Baird, a longtime VMNH Volunteer, recently passed away at the age of 86

Gene Baird, a longtime VMNH Volunteer, recently passed away at the age of 86. Below is a note about Gene's museum work by Dr. Elizabeth Moore, Curator of Archaeology:

Gene worked here for over ten years, starting in the invertebrate paleontology collection at the Douglas Avenue building then in archaeology lab at Starling. He was a lab regular working every Thursday and sometimes more. You could set your watch by his 9:00 AM arrival. Gene was the lab handyman and repaired or built equipment, always helping fix the little things that make a big difference. A faucet that's too short? Gene made an extension to the pipe. When we needed a frame to hold an articulated human skeleton Gene built it from plumbing supplies he bought at Lowes. When we needed a heavy base to hold a magnifying lamp Gene drilled and welded one from old weights and even painted it so it would look nice. When we moved into the new lab on Starling he used the safety training he received at DuPont to make sure that all chemicals were labeled and handled properly, that safety sheets were readily available, and that supplies were organized and accessible. This attention to detail and procedure was a great asset to everything he did for us at the museum, and his efforts were honored with the Noel T. Boaz Director's Award at the 2011 VMNH Thomas Jefferson Awards.

His contributions were not limited to the lab work that he did. He was also a lively participant in the lab discussions where daily topics range from the research at the museum to local sports to politics and world news. He didn't hesitate to speak his mind and challenge others to examine their positions on a variety of issues. Gene was a valued colleague and a friend to everyone in the lab. Personally, I fondly considered him a member of the family. His company will be greatly missed.

Dr. Elizabeth Moore
Curator of Archaeology
Virginia Museum of Natural History

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