(209) 634-5829
247 North Broadway, Turlock, CA 95380

Joseph Daniel Bair December 6, 1932 - June 27, 2023

Date of Service

September 16, 2023

Joseph Daniel Bair was born December 6, 1932 in Phoenix, Arizona, to Clyde and Thelma Bair. He was the youngest of four children. At a young age his mother taught him about God’s love, and his need for salvation. She was his spiritual mentor through childhood. His mom often sang hymns while doing her housework.

Joe’s older brothers and sister all participated in music groups at school and church. It was natural for Joe to do likewise. One of his biggest thrills was to march in the New Year’s Rose Parade with the Long Beach Poly Hi band, playing first trumpet.

Upon entering BIOLA, Joe was in the Coronation Choir, directed by Dr. Tovey. The choir needed a trumpet trio, so Joe was recruited into the trio by the leader, Alice Baltz of Turlock, who eventually became the love of his life. Later that year, Joe was called to active duty in the US Naval Reserve and served as a Hospital Corpsman in North Island Naval Air Station Dispensary at San Diego.

While Joe was stationed there, Alice visited him every weekend until they were married June 27, 1953. In their first family church, Joe discovered that Alice was an extremely talented choir director and was especially gifted at working with volunteer choir members. This gift characterized her ministry throughout her entire lifetime.

While Joe was still in the Navy, daughter Dani Jo was added to the family. After the Navy, Joe and Alice were driving across country to college, when there was an automobile accident that took Dani Jo to heaven at the age of 25 months. Debbi Joy was born in Greenville, SC several months later in 1957. Joe transferred to Fresno State University and completed a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. While he was completing his student teaching, their third daughter, Delci Jean, was born in Turlock in 1959. Their son, Deryl Jon, was born in Turlock in 1967.

Alice organized a family singing ministry, beginning when Debbi and Delci were 6 and 4, respectively. Deryl started singing along when he was around the age of 4. Joe and Alice had continued to play trumpet duets, and Debbi joined with trumpet and eventually French horn as well. Deryl completed the brass quartet when he learned to play trombone.

Joe was an educator for 50 years, mainly at Modesto City Schools and finally at Palm Springs Adult School.

Joe faithfully served on the Board of Directors of the home mission organization, Missionary Gospel Fellowship, in Turlock for 48 years, beginning in 1975. During Joe’s summer breaks from schools, many of the missionaries around the country and in Mexico invited the Bairs to come provide music at their mission sites for special concerts.

In 1997, Joe and Alice moved to Sky Valley, outside of Desert Hot Springs, CA. For 20 years, Alice and Joe were involved in Chapel music at Sky Valley Resort and Caliente Springs Resort in the Coachella Valley.

In September 2020, Alice was stricken with a stroke. Joe then suffered a stroke in October, and could not walk or talk. He ended up in her room at the rehab/skilled nursing facility, where together they celebrated her 90th birthday! Many people prayed for Alice and Joe, and they were on prayer chains in several churches. Joe considered himself a “walking answer to prayer.” After only 21 days he was released from that facility to live independently at home. Alice was completely paralyzed on the left side, and was bedridden for 13 months, until God called her home to be with Him in October 2021.

Joe moved to an independent living apartment within Samaritan Village in Hughson, CA in early 2022. He was a contented resident there, renewing former friendships and creating new ones. He enjoyed activities such as the SV Singers. He believed that God restored his voice and enabled him to sing again. His testimony was expressed by André Crouch’s song, “My Tribute” – “to God be the glory for the things He has done.” He celebrated his 90th birthday in December with a fun party surrounded by precious family members and friends, old and new. His interstitial lung disease, which had been diagnosed several years prior, accelerated, causing shortness of breath issues. It became necessary for him to rely on oxygen support 24/7, and in March of 2023 he entered hospice care with SEVA Hospice. With the help of an electric scooter, he was able to get around and enjoy dinners with friends and family, remaining as independent as possible. His condition took a quick turn for the worse and within 24 hours Joe went to heaven. The date was June 27, 2023, on his and Alice’s 70th anniversary. The day before, he had joked with his daughter, Delci,  “Tomorrow would be a great day for a reunion!”

Joe is survived by his remaining 3 children, 2 sons-in-law, 2 grandsons, 1 granddaughter-in-law, and 3 great granddaughters.

Debb and her husband, Steve, are involved in ministry in a suburb of Chicago, where Steve pastors an Evangelical Free Church. He also plays piano and leads the worship ministry. Debb plays mandolin and French horn in the worship team (not at the same time). She has also led a women’s small group for several years. Joe considered Steve and Debb’s church his “home church.” With the onset of the pandemic and life circumstances making physical attendance difficult, he loved to tune into the livestream of their service most Sundays.

Delci and her husband, Mike, of Oakdale, have been active in their local churches, having served in countless roles. Delci has served extensively in various music ministries, and enjoys mentoring young women. She has developed some business ventures and enjoys hosting events.  “Grammie” is by far her favorite title nowadays. Mike, among other things, is involved in agriculture as an accountant, investor and developer. “Granddad” is another name he readily answers to.

Their son Romain is an engineer and project manager and lives with his wife, Sarah, in Soulsbyville, California, along with daughters Fiona Rose, Leila Jean, and Cecelia June. The girls loved joining Joe for meals at “Great Grandpa Joe’s Restaurant” at SV.

Their son Dawson lives in Oakdale. He is accomplished in art and music and is pursuing machine shop work. He was often his Grampa Joe’s chauffer over the past several months.

Deryl was involved in full-time music ministry in his home base of Palm Desert, CA until the pandemic, and is now an over-the-road truck driver. He is a witness to other drivers and people he encounters. Joe was able to do some ride-along trips with Deryl in late 2021, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He enjoyed following Deryl’s driving progress by way of phone calls and maps. They often ended their calls singing the Doxology together.

Joe recently had his grandson Dawson help him write an update for friends to read. He said, “Please do not grieve; but rejoice with me as I finish my course and anticipate meeting my Lord and Savior. Then there will be a special reunion with my dear Alice and daughter Dani Jo! What a day of rejoicing that will be! Hallelujah!”

His exhortation to us all – “Love God. Love your wife and family. Reflect God’s love to others.”

The family wishes to acknowledge the excellent care, comfort and companionship Joe received from his SEVA Hospice care team, as well as various staff members at Samaritan Village.  We could not be more grateful.

A Celebration of Joe’s Life will be held on September 16, 2023. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Missionary Gospel Fellowship, the Bair Family Memorial Fund, 1300 North Berkeley Avenue, Turlock, CA 95380 (https://www.mgfhq.org)

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