Friends and family remember Sam Baer

Rebecca Reis

Friends and family remember Samuel Baer as a goofy guy who was a good friend and so funny that people couldn’t help but love him. Baer, a junior art education major, was only two days away from his 23rd birthday when he died Jan. 3.

Lindsay Sherrard, who graduated from Kent State in 2011 with a nursing degree, grew up down the street from Baer and attended school with him at Garaway High School in Sugarcreek.

“He lived up the hill and he would walk down to my house all the time,” Sherrard said. “As we got older, we would go to parties and go out more. But because we grew up in the middle of nowhere, we were all that we had.”

Sherrard laughed when she recalled one funny memory of high school when Baer was asked to be a witness in his class’ mock trial. The mock-lawyer began to ask him questions and Baer interrupted, asking: “Can you please speak to me like I’m 5?” The joke resulted in posters of Baer’s face and quote hung around the school.

“He does things like that all the time,” she said. “A lot of people would be like ‘Grow up,’ or ‘Quit being yourself for a little bit,’ but that’s just how he was. He was so goofy.”

To Sherrard, Baer was not only a close childhood friend, but a confidant and personal cheerleader. When Sherrard graduated in 2011, her boyfriend at the time didn’t attend. Baer, however, cheered the loudest when she walked on stage to receive her diploma.

“He always encouraged the best out of people,” Sherrard said. “He wanted people to have fun.”

Baer’s brother Zack described Baer as a “wild kid” who loved sports. Baer was a wrestler and played football as a guard and defensive linemen for Garaway. His football coach spoke at his memorial service.

“He really loved sports, he really loved football,” Zack said. “He would get pretty mad whenever I make fun of the Browns.”

Aside from his love for sports, Baer also loved art. After graduation he planned to be an art teacher.

“He was colorblind, but he wanted to be an art teacher, and that’s what he majored in,” Zack said with a laugh.

Sherrard said that despite his goofiness and fun-loving nature, Baer was a happy and peaceful person.

“You know how people always say, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’?” Sherrard said. “Well, he tried to be that every day.”

Contact Rebecca Reis at [email protected].