Don Baut


Donald V. Baut, 87, died on May 7, 2014. He was born on October 28, 1926 in Detroit, to August and Alice (Johnson) Baut. He was a graduate of the Denby High School in Detroit, and in 1961 graduated from the University of Detroit. He worked during his college career at Chrysler and in Winkleman’s Main Office. Following graduation, he was a teacher for a period of time and became curator at the Dearborn Historical Museum for 29 years before his retirement.

Don loved the state of Michigan, both the beauty and the history of the state. Many remember his affinity for anything historical, including his uncanny ability to identify any automobile upon sight, reciting the make, model and year. He collected antique automobiles for most of his life. His master’s thesis was on the ships of the Great Lakes and he was able to speak in a knowledgeable manner on most Michigan history topics.

Don met Irene D. Laveque-Thomas at the Detroit Yacht Club. They were married on June 24, 1966 at St. Sylvester’s Catholic Church in Warren, and were married 37 years before her death in 2003. In 1972, when Don was 45 and Irene was 47, they were surprised by their only child, a daughter. They lived in Dearborn until 1992, when Don retired from the museum. The couple moved to Baldwin, turning their summer home into their permanent residence.

Don and Irene were very active in Lake County activities. Don spent 10 years as a columnist for the Lake County Star, and 10 years on the Lake County Historical Society where he served as Vice President. He was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church.

A kind and loving father, he will be greatly missed by his daughter, Catherine “Katie” Davis of Ft. Myers, FL, and his three grandchildren, Danielle, Nicholas and Olivia, ages 15, five and three months. He is also survived by his sister, Delores (Baut) Doyle of Lowell; several nieces and a nephew.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, on April 4, 2003 and his parents. His father, August, passed away in 1974, and his mother, Alice, in 2006, at the age of 103. A mass will be said in his honor at Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Ft. Myers, FL, with the date and time to be determined.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Verdun Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Baldwin.