James “Jimmy” "Apa" Lawrence Baiel Jr., 62, passed away from pancreatic cancer on March 30th, 2023, at home with his wife Laura by his side.
Jimmy was born and lived in the south suburbs of Chicago before he and his wife moved their family to Lowell, Indiana. He was a graduate of Thornwood High School in South Holland, Illinois.
He owned his own business, Torno Machining, after working for many years at Hadady Corporation.
A polymath, Jimmy was curious throughout his life and understood a variety of technical and nontechnical topics. He enjoyed explaining in great detail how different systems worked, a piece of information, or how a particular moment of life related to a Seinfeld episode.
He always enjoyed a discussion and was never timid to have a debate about any topic. If he engaged you in conversation and consequently you were late to an appointment, all you had to say was that you were talking to Jimmy. They would understand.
He was an extremely talented multi-disciplinary artist and lover of art in general. He especially liked the works of Dali and Bosch. He had a wonderful sense of humor. His wit was sharp, his laugh generous, and his tales tall.
Jimmy loved nature and especially enjoyed watching and listening to the birds that came to nest in his trees. He rescued a cockatoo, MacAfee, and for several years cared for the bird before setting him free at a sanctuary.
He was a wonderful cook and enjoyed all kinds of food, especially spicy. He was always up for trying new and different dishes. He loved to experiment with all kinds of flavors and enjoyed creating his own recipes. He always felt that time spent cooking was time well spent.
In the warmer months, you could find him shirtless, often barefoot, blasting his stereo, playing everything from Zappa to Sinatra, while working in the yard or barbequing.
Jimmy is survived by his wife Laura (née Veldhuis); children Nichole Baiel, Zachary (Anne) Baiel, & Anastasia (Jason Spencer) Baiel; grandchildren Hieronymus and Emmaline Baiel; sisters Dawn (Jim) Baiel-Young, Robin Baiel and Holly Baiel; nephew Joshua Baiel.
An open house will be held to celebrate Jimmy’s life at the American Legion Post 101 in Lowell Indiana on May 6th from 2-8 pm.
In lieu of flowers or donations, call that person you have been meaning to get in touch with, take an old friend to lunch, say hello to your neighbor. Life is short and tomorrow is promised to no one.
As Jimmy would say, “Take it light”.
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