Off he went into the wild blue yonder, climbing high into the Son--- From getting his private pilot’s license to teaching flight instruction (JAB AERO, INC.), volunteering with the civil air patrol, and piloting the helicopter for the Darlington sheriff’s department, flying was a huge part of dad’s life. On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, he flew to heaven. How wonderful to know that God has a perfect plan for our passions and talents for all eternity. You must be flying high dad.
Also passionate about his family, dad often said he wanted a job that allowed him to be home every day. He found that in quality control at Celotex corporation, which transferred him to the South Carolina plant in 1974. We sure were blessed to have him home doing life with us. We always felt safe and secure. He always provided.
Born on December 15, 1942, to Helen and Stanley Baudendistel of French Woods, NY, dad grew up in the Catskill mountains. Along with his sister, Marian (Tom Connolly), he helped in the family sawmill. He sure did love his trees and did plenty of carpentry from building his own house, to making items of furniture. And what dad built, was strong, heavy, and lasting.
Dad graduated from Hancock Central School in New York, where he enjoyed sports, clubs, dances, and various school activities (which he rode his bike to, after his chores of course!). He worked hard and enjoyed every minute. Well, maybe not his job washing all the lunch dishes! And, he only got into a fair amount of mischief.
After high school, dad joined the army, spending boot camp at Fort Benning, Georgia, eventually being deployed to post-war Korea. It amused us that he was so used to old fashioned hard work, that military life was very agreeable to him. He had many fond memories, much like attending summer camp!
After his honorable discharge, while working in New Jersey, he met his wife of 56 years, Margaret Granstrand. He asked her out for coffee, and even though the never drank it she obtained permission from her parents, and the rest is history. They married on June 19, 1965, at a church in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, before family and friends.
Soon after, dad landed the initial job with Celotex in Deposit, New York. They moved to French Woods, New York and built their own home on Baudendistel Road. They had three children in that beautiful rural area: Ann (Ronald Conner), Beth (George Frederick), and John Stanley. Dad was busy with work, family, gardens, finishing the finer details in the house, and attending night school. He was able to complete his BS degree after the move south, with a major in industrial engineering. Never one to sit for very long, dad also added insurance adjusting and wastewater treatment credentials to his resume, as well as part-time ground school flight instructor for Florence Darlington Technical College.
Always a believer in God, after serious surgery, dad rededicated his life to Jesus, and we enjoyed many Sunday morning services together. We saw him read his Bible through more than once. His faith grew bolder and his friendships with his beloved pastors, Robert Waites and Alvin Cribb, were dear to him! During COVID season, dad very much enjoyed listening to David Jeremiah’s services on TV. His favorite hymn was always Amazing Grace, and he would ask his musical friends to play or sing it often; Especially friend Albert Singleton who was a faithful visitor.
Dad never met a stranger and loved to have a chat. He was loyal, a helper, a giver, an includer, a come on over and have a cup of coffee on the porch kind of friend. His friends were all kinds; stature didn’t intimidate him, and lowliness didn’t make him feel less of a person. He was generous with his time, his home, his money and his tools, some of which he never saw again. How blessed we are that by word and deed, dad gave us confidence that he lives on forever in Jesus.
Dad reaped a generous reward in grand children and great grands! He loved them and was proud of them, and they loved him right back. They are Benjamin (Jordon Conner) and their boys William Caedyn “Liam” and Callan David; Kara (Justin Cook) and their girls, Kylie Marie and Emberly Margaret; Daryl Leigh (Daylon Head) and their daughter Adeline Rae; and grandson Zachary Davis. Dad is also survived by wonderful cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
We, his family, want to thank all who were so loving, kind, and thoughtful through dad’s battle with illness. Special thanks to Aunt Mary Ruth Burns for coming so often, even overnight. Hospice nurse Sabrina and VA Aids Barbara and Ronnie, also deserve praise. You were a blessing and dad was awfully fond of you. And, who could forget cousin Peggy Connolly’s stream of homemade and bakery goodies!
Because dad loved God, family, and country, we thought it would be nice to donate to Wounded Warriors Foundation or any patriotic charity of your choice In lieu of flowers. Even posting a picture of an American flag on any social media in dad’s memory would be an awesome tribute. We will be having a memorial service at Layton Anderson Funeral Home in Florence on Sunday, June 27th at 2:00 pm. All are welcome. We love you dad. We will take good care of mom. We will see you on the other side.
Snookie, Smooch, and Bug Tussle
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