John Baer was born on April 21, 1947. He majored in astronomy at the University of Washington, obtaining his BS degree in 1970 and his MS in 1973. For a few years he taught at North Seattle Community College, but left to join his family’s home furnishings store, Carpet World, where he became president of the company. His computer skills proved to be very useful in updating the company’s accounting, inventory, etc. John had many interests in addition to astronomy, including painting, poetry, and music. In fact, he had his own studio for recording and even wrote some compositions.
He died in March of 1998 after an unsuccessful fight against kidney cancer. He very kindly donated his library to at the Astronomy Department of the University of Washington and, by his will, established an endowed scholarship fund for undergraduates.