GAMBIER — Richard A. Baer, 81, of Gambier passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at the Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.

He was born on July 15, 1937, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to the late Arthur and Ethel (Deppe) Baer. Richard came to Ohio in 1959 after serving four years in the United States Army. He was employed at Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company from 1959-1975.

Richard was sworn in as Mayor of Gambier on January 3, 1966, and was one of the youngest mayors in the state of Ohio. He served until May of 1989 when he resigned and was appointed Village Administrator. He retired from being the Village Administrator on March 31, 2000.

Some of Richard’s accomplishments while working with the Village of Gambier were: 1969, he started police protection with a full-time county deputy; 1976, rebuilt village water system and contracted with Mount Vernon City for water service; 1977, purchased the Gambier Elementary School and had it remodeled into becoming the Gambier Community Center; 1978, started the Gambier Library; 1988, started village-wide recycling program; 1989, computerized the accounting system, water and sewer records and billing for the village; between 1994 and 1996, helped design and oversee the construction of a $3.7 million sewer plant upgrade.

Richard was a member of the Gambier Volunteer Fire Department from 1963-1988 and was one of the original group of volunteers. He was a chairperson of the Regional Planning Commission for Knox County for three years and then its full-time director for ten years. Most recently he volunteered and ran the Knox County Genealogy Library. Richard was also a member of the Gambier United Methodist Church.

Richard is survived by his wife of over 56 years, Mary “Frankie” Baer; his son Bill (Yvonne Sanson) Baer; three grandchildren, Miranda (Chris Clayton) Baer, Jessica Baer, Richard Ethan Baer; two great-grandchildren, Stella and Natalie; his brothers, Daniel (Barb) Baer, John Baer, Art (Janet) Baer; his sister Joan (Robert) Bunsey; and additional family Molly Baer.

Friends may call on Thursday, May 16, from 5-8 p.m. at the Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home. A service will be held Friday at the funeral home, beginning at 11 a.m. with Rev. Lee Cubie officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Gambier.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Knox County Animal Shelter.

To send the family a condolence online visit

The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Richard A. Baer.


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