John G. Baehr, Jr • October 7, 2020
John George Baehr, Jr of Pensacola FL died peacefully October 7, 2020. He was born February 10, 1937 in Cleveland, OH to the late Catherine “Katy” Johnson Cook and John G. Baehr, Sr.
John was raised in Cleveland OH, West Los Angeles CA, and Scottsdale AZ. He graduated in 1952 from Judson School for Boys in Phoenix then attended the University of Arizona for 3 ½ years before being appointed to the US Naval Academy by Barry Goldwater in 1958. He graduated from the USNA in 1962 where he lettered with a gold star as captain of the tennis team and an accomplished member of the 1961 National Championship squash team.
He received his wings in 1964 from Rear Admiral Brandley and became a Navy fighter pilot flying a F8 Crusader in VF 13 off the aircraft carrier USS Shangri La based in Jacksonville FL where his oldest son was born. Being such an accomplished pilot, he was tapped to be an Instructing Officer and joined VT-4 in Pensacola where his youngest son was born.
In 1969 he moved his family to his wife’s, Paula Black, hometown of Spartanburg, SC where he delved into real estate and politics. He was elected and served on City Council from 1971-73 and as Mayor from 1973-77. He served as President of the SC Municipal Association and as Chairman of the National League of Cities Public Safety Committee. He continued his collegiate sports passions winning the CCS tennis championship and multiple SC Squash Open Championships.
He left Spartanburg and become a corporate pilot in Charleston and Ft. Lauderdale, FL before returning to Pensacola in 1985 to fly again with the Navy as a civilian pilot training Naval Flight Officers. In addition to his other business pursuits, he loved shooting pool, live music, and the company of his many great friends at his favorite haunts such as Sonny’s BBQ, the Pink Pony, and the Flora-Bama to name a few. However, more than anything, he loved hanging with his sons no matter the location and visiting their families in Spartanburg for fishing, Panther football, and other adventures.
He is survived and missed by his sons JP (Catherine) and Lamar (Page) Baehr of Spartanburg, SC; grandchildren Will, Maybry, Caroline, Paul, Baker, Croft, and Ford Baehr; and his sister Carla J. Baehr of Phoenix, AZ. He was also predeceased by his brother William “Bill” J. Baehr.
Memorials may be made to the US Naval Academy Foundation, 274 Wood Rd, Annapolis, MD 21402. An online guest register is available at www.PMGFuneralHome.com.
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