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For me, Tony Benjamin (Benjy) Baity, it’s checkmated at age 54. I have passed into the great unknown. Some will say, “He’s gone to heaven.” Others will guarantee you I’ve gone straight to hell. Either way, it’s another opportunity during which I hope I can discover the answer to one of life’s great mysteries – just where do all those socks missing from the laundry go?
I was born in Thomasville, N. C., on March 1, 1964, to wonderful parents, Tony W. Baity (deceased) and Sandra P. Baity (still kicking up her heels in Carolina Beach, N.C). As it turned out, I lived the perfect childhood thanks to my parents.
I am survived by my wife, Melissa O. Baity (I could not ask for a better mate to love me), a son, Benjamin Andrew Baity (a fine young man blessed with his daddy’s charming wit), and a beautiful daughter, Jorjana Grace Baity (stubborn as her daddy), all of Linwood, N.C. Also, surviving are my two younger brothers, Paul H. Baity and Jason M. Baity (neither of which have ever learned to listen to the smartest child our parents produced), both of Lexington, N.C.
Anyway, I think I lived a good life. I loved my family and a few close friends. During my life, I tried to do what I thought was right based on the information I had when making decisions and I never intentionally tried to hurt anyone. I stood up for my beliefs and convictions, never compromising for material gains. Some have said that was my downfall, I believe it to have been honorable and true to my moral character. I swam against the current, not because I wanted to, but because I saw it as the right thing to do.
I spent 28 ½ years, as a dedicated public servant, working 13 of those years as a North Carolina Department of Transportation Right of Way Negotiator, buying land for new roads and highways. Prior to joining the NCDOT in January 2000, I worked in local and state law-enforcement, during which time I received a State Advanced Corrections Certificate and a State Intermediate Law Enforcement Certificate, both from the North Carolina Department of Justice. After retiring from public service, I spent three years as a Private Consultant/Project Manager. I also worked as a professional journalist, newscaster, and became a published photographer and a fledgling artist.
In 1986, I was awarded a Baccalaureate degree in English with an emphasis on Mass Media Communications from High Point University. I earned a Masters of Science degree in Management with an emphasis on Project Management from Colorado Technical University in May 2011. I became a licensed Real Estate Broker with additional training in various aspects of real estate appraisal. During my professional career, I held numerous professional certifications, taught in the local public school system, at the North Carolina Justice Academy, as well as at various community colleges and seminars throughout the State of North Carolina.
I do have a few regrets. First and foremost is that in spite of having written in various genres throughout my lifetime, my first novel remains unfinished. Secondly, I sucked at chess. It’s one of the few things during my life I could never quite master. Yet, being an avid enthusiast I played in many tournaments, including the 2nd Annual World Senior Open in Philadelphia, PA. Didn’t win a game.
There will be no funeral, no burial fuss, no dog and pony show. I will be cremated and my ashes boxed for placement, probably on some dark shelf next to my dad’s. However, there will be a party (loud music, good food, and spirituous drink) for all family and friends. For anyone wishing to express his or her thoughts of my life and me, this will be the time and place. Contact Melissa for details.
Lastly, please no flowers. In lieu of such, make a memorial donation to: Asheboro Chess Club, Tom Hales – President, 946 Glenwood Road, Asheboro, North Carolina 27203 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride! – Hunter S. Thompson
Peace to each of you, especially if I can find some of your missing socks and put them back into your laundry!
Carolina Cremation is assisting the Baity family. Online condolences may be made at www.carolinacremation.com.