Richard David "Dick" Baier, 92, passed away early Thursday morning, July 7, 2022, at his home in Cissna Park with his favorite daughter, Barbara, by his side. Born April 5, 1930 at Iroquois Hospital, Watseka, IL, he was the oldest son of Christian D. and Marie Roll Baier. He was baptized and confirmed in Trinity Lutheran Church, Cissna Park, IL, and continued membership there until his demise. He was also a member of Everglades Community Church, Everglades City, FL, and actively served in both congregations during his lifetime.
Dick graduated from Cissna Park Community High School with the class of 1948 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in the fall of that year requiring one year of active duty followed by time in the inactive reserves. After serving his year of active duty he returned to Cissna Park and was married to Myrna Lee Leiding on July 2, 1950 at the First Christian Church in Watseka. In the meantime, the Korean Conflict broke out and he was summoned back into active duty until late in 1951.
Upon discharge from the Marines, Dick was employed by C & R Publishing Co., publishers of the Cissna Park News and Rankin Independent, where he had worked during high school. He also revived a business previously operated by his father — the manufacture and installation of concrete farm drainage tile, under the name of Baier Concrete Products Co., and continued part time employment with the publishing company.
On October 2, 1958, Dick and Myrna purchased C & R Publishing Co, from Ralph and Mary Caldwell, renaming the firm to Baier Publishing Company. They retired from the responsibilities of the business in 1992 when son, Rick and his wife, Sharon took over the business and operate it successfully to this day. Dick remained in the employ of the business for a few more years.
Dick joined the Cissna Park Volunteer Fire Department in 1958 working his way up to Fire Chief prior to the organization of the Cissna Park Fire Protection District. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Fire District and eventually served as its President. He became an Area Representative of the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts (IAFPD) in 1988 and advanced to the Board of Directors of that association, serving two years as treasurer and four years as president. He was recognized by the IAFPD for outstanding service to fire protection districts in the State of Illinois and more importantly honored by the Cissna Park Fire Protection District for 45 years of active participation in the fire and emergency service. A highlight of his tenure as District President was the construction of a new modem fire station in Cissna Park.
On the Iroquois County level Dick served 21 years as a member of and secretary for the County Sheriff's Merit Commission. He also served briefly on the boards of the Iroquois County Red Cross and the Iroquois Memorial Hospital. He was a three township representative for the Salvation Army.
He was a long-time member of Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 and served as Post Commander when the elite Post 527 Color Guard and Rifle Team was organized in 1965. He was a member of that first team.
Dick served a term on the Cissna Park Village Board and 16 years as Village President. A highlight of his term was the installation of the sewage treatment plant and collection facilities.
In 1981, Dick joined with Wilma Dryden and Dick Reutter to form a not for profit corporation called The Country Theatre Workshop (CTW). Located just north of Cissna Park, the live stage performances during the summer months were an immediate success and CTW continues to attract actors and theatre goers from a wide area in east central Illinois to this day. Dick served on the Board of Directors and during the first 11 summers he played roles in 18 different shows. He later was artistic director for one show.
He served as President of the Cissna Park Centennial Commission when the community celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1983.
In the mid 1990's, Dick and Myrna were elected to the Board of Directors of the River Wilderness of Everglades City Condominium Association — their home away from home in southwest Florida. Dick served as secretary and Myrna as treasurer and overseer. He also did much of the maintenance work for the River Wilderness property.
Dick had an engaging sense of humor and as time allowed enjoyed gardening, fishing and golf.
His wife of 72 years, Myrna, survives along with four children, David Lee (Beth), Ricky Alan (Sharon), Bruce Edward (Venetia), and Barbara Ann Baier, all of them residents of Cissna Park. There are six grandchildren, Kara (Andy) Peabody of Noblesville, IN, Mitchell Baier of Seattle, WA, Trevor (Jill) Baier of Ames, IA, Lauren Baier (Jake Sanders) of Mahomet, IL, Logan (Sami) Baier of Chatham, IL, and Whitney Scheiwe (Jake Wise) of Champaign, IL; and eight great grandchildren, Kalianne Peabody, Annika Peabody, Alden Peabody, Ian Baier, Brynn Baier, Dylan Baier, River Sanders, Skye Sanders and Baby Baier arriving in September. Also surviving is his brother, Chris, of Prescott, AZ, and several nieces and nephews.
His parents; sister, Rose Marie Fogel; and two half sisters, Margaret Zimmerman and Madalyn Enz, preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 15, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cissna Park with Pastor Michael Ruhlig officiating. Burial will be at the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery, Cissna Park. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, July 14, 2022, at Knapp Funeral Home in Cissna Park and one hour prior to services at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Memorials may be made to the Cissna Park Fire Protection District, PO Box 273, Cissna Park, IL 60924; Country Theatre Workshop, PO Box 394, Cissna Park, IL 60924; or Trinity Lutheran Church, 302 S. 4th Street, Cissna Park, IL 60924.
Please share a memory of Dick at www.knappfuneralhomes.com.