Marin George Baiz – Feb. 22, 1942 – Jan. 23, 2015
Marin Baiz passed away shortly before 11 p.m. on Friday, January 23rd at his North Fork home, surrounded by friends and family. He had been undergoing treatment for cancer over the last several months. Marin would have celebrated his 73rd birthday in February.
Marin was born in Oakland, Calif., on February 22nd, 1942, then moved with his family as a young boy to the San Joaquin Valley, where he grew up playing and working in and around the vineyards near Selma. He graduated from Selma High School in 1961, then went on to study aviation engineering at Reedley College, where he earned an associate of science degree.
Joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1964, Marin used his aeronautical training and love of flying to become a medevac helicopter pilot in Vietnam, rising to the rank of captain, and earning a Silver Star for having displayed extraordinary courage and skill while under enemy fire.
After an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Marin continued his career as a pilot for Air America, working out of Laos for over three years.
Upon his return home, Marin purchased a farm in the Selma area, where he produced raisins on the forty-two acres. Although he gave up farming as a profession after a number of years, he continued to show a passion for planting and making things grow through his whole life. This passion is evidenced by the abundantly planted and landscaped yard around the North Fork home he shared with his wife Merry Gale for the last twenty-seven years.
Those fortunate enough to have known Marin George Baiz knew him as a vibrant and energetic soul, one who loved gardening, travel, people, animals, food, nature, and books (he was a bilingual librarian for Madera County from 1994 to 2003); one who loved to explore both the physical world and metaphysical ideas, and one who enjoyed so many thousands of the pieces of his life’s experiences.
Marin is survived by his wife Merry Gale Baiz; sisters Francis Bailey and Lorraine Baiz; and numerous nieces and nephews.