Roy D. Bair
EAST MONTPELIER - On Jan. 11, 2017, Dr. Roy D. Bair of East Montpelier, Vermont, died at home peacefully from complications due to kidney failure. Roy spent his last two weeks under in-home hospice care surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife, Joanne; brothers James and Richard, of California; stepdaughter Sarah Bancroft, of Montpelier; son Daniel, daughter-in-law Leila and grandchildren Abigail, James and Josiah, of East Montpelier; son Douglas, daughter-in-law Charlotte and grandchildren Eliza and Jasper, of Melbourne, Australia; as well as three nephews and a niece. Roy is best described as an honorable, fair, hard-working and humorous husband, father and grandfather. Roy Bair was born on Jan. 21, 1943, in Canton, Ohio, to Robert and Vera (Zwallen) Bair. They moved to Cranford, New Jersey, where he attended school, played varsity football and was compelled by a coach to meet with a Norwich University recruiter. In 1961, Roy entered the corps of cadets at Norwich University where he stayed and earned a B.S. in biology in 1965. He entered the Army Reserve in 1969, entered full military service in 1972 and was honorably discharged in 1980. Roy earned both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Cincinnati in 1972. During this period, Roy married his first wife, Carol Shiffgen, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who died in 1974. Roy moved to Vermont in 1973 to become a professor of biology at Norwich University, where he stayed until his full retirement in 2003. In 1975, Roy Bair married his second wife, Joanne Hill, of East Montpelier, Vermont. A devoted husband and father, Roy lived on their East Montpelier farm property where he enjoyed working outdoors, in the garden and woods. During his tenure at Norwich, Roy revised and developed biology curriculum and taught classes in cell biology, animal physiology, microbiology, parasitology, human anatomy and physiology, ecology, human biology, environmental biology, histology and general principles of biology. He served as a student advisor and served on many university committees. Roy was a member of Sigma Xi, Beta-Beta-Beta, the International Union of Physiological Sciences, the American Society of Parasitologists and the Northeast Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. Roy Bair was a Vermont State Science Fair judge, Norwich University Partridge Society member and an unofficial member of the infamous class of 1965 panty raid (which did not happen). Since its foundation, he was a supporter of the Martha B. Currie Scholarship for Nursing students at Norwich University. A proud and devoted Norwich alumnus, Roy was an avid NU Hockey fan and member of the Blue Line Club. In the community, Roy was a Little League coach, spoke at several high school biology classes and donated scientific equipment to area elementary schools and high schools. He was an initial financial supporter of the Civic Center and served on the board of directors for the Adamant Cooperative store. He was vice president and president of the Vermont Kidney Association and a member of the Montpelier Cribbage League. Roy was a member of the Adamant Methodist Church where he served on the administrative board, edited the bulletin, held the position of treasurer and was a general, all-around 'handyman'. He very much enjoyed singing in the Old West Church Christmas Eve Choir for over 20 years. Most recently, Roy helped to establish the Peck Farm Orchard on the farm property where he began learning orchard management and pomology. His free time was spent in his wood workshop, where he handcrafted artistic cheese boards, boxes, heirloom toys and furniture for his friends and family. Roy Bair was a humorous, generous, selfless, hard-working scientist, professor, husband, father, Christian, woodworker and exceptional Grampy. His late retirement was spent enjoying frequent rides through the woods and much joyful playing with his five grandkids. Roy was an unofficial surrogate father and mentor to many young men. Roy D. Bair will continue to be a plenary example of a hard-working, honorable family man. In place of flowers, donations may be made to the Adamant United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 3, Adamant, or the Martha B. Currie Nursing Scholarship at Norwich University. Calling hours will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14, at Guare and Sons in Montpelier, Vermont, from 6 to 8 p.m. A memorial service will be held the following day at the White Chapel, Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont, beginning at 1:30 with a reception to follow. Those wishing to express online condolences may do so at www.guareandsons.com .
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