Obituaries » Kathryn Leigh Riner Baer

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Kathryn Leigh Riner Baer

April 1, 1952 - July 8, 2018

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Kathryn “Kathy” Leigh Riner Baer passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at Lynchburg General Hospital. Kathy was born on April 1, 1952 in Charlottesville, to the late Lt. E. Curtis Riner and the late Dorothy Wood Riner.

In addition to her parents, Kathy was predeceased by her first husband, Edward “Ed” Baer, her brother Roger C. Riner, her in laws Erwin Peter Baer and Nell Everette Baer, and sister in law Cecilia Baer.

Kathy graduated from E.C. Glass High School in the Class of 1970, continued her education at Virginia Tech, and then completed her Associates Degree in Business at Central Virginia Community College. Upon her marriage to Ed July 8th of 1971, Kathy joined the Baer & Sons Memorials, Inc. family business as their office manager. She was steadfast in keeping meticulous records of the business, as well as working with grieving families as they fulfilled their loved ones’ wishes. Through the years, Kathy obtained several levels of excellence through her active involvement in Job’s Daughters Bethel #36 as a teen, then, as a mother, at both the local and state levels. She also kept her involvement with the Brookville-Timberlake Lions Club and the Lynchburg Host Lions Club. She is remembered as being “the heart and soul” in organizing the EC Glass HS Class Reunions for the class of 1970, always wanting to keep in touch with her classmates. In her spare time, she enjoyed playing with her beloved dogs, Izzie, Cassie and Shinlee, feeding the birds and growing tomatoes in her garden. She looked forward to spending time with a host of close friends over a delicious meal and sharing stories from down memory lane.

Kathy is survived by, her daughter, Michelle Leigh Baer Gray and her husband, William “Billy” Gray and grandsons, Jordan Michael Gray and Dylan Edward Gray,  her second husband, Mike Thaxton, two brother in laws and their families, Charlie and his wife, Sara Baer, and their daughter, Meredith Baer; and Mike and his wife, Donna Baer, all of Lynchburg; and their children, Ashley Baer Ferguson and her husband, Waverly Ferguson of Williamsburg, Abbey Baer of Richmond, and Andrew Baer of Lynchburg.

As requested, her remains will be cremated and interred beside her beloved “Ed” at Spring Hill Cemetery. Her family will receive friends at Tharp Funeral Home at 220 Breezewood Drive, Lynchburg, from 2 until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, 2018.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Ed Baer Memorial Eyeglass Fund c/o Brookville-Timberlake Lions Club, P O Box 4051, Lynchburg VA 24502 or the Humane Society for Campbell County at 29 Mortimer Drive,  Evington, VA 24550.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.


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