AUGUSTA ? Michael Baran, of 25 Second St., Hallowell, died early Monday morning, Feb. 18, 2002, at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, after a short illness. \r\r\n\r\r\nMike was born in Beacon, N.Y., Dec. 4, 1914, the son of Gabriel and Mary (Nagoda) Baran. He attended Danbury, Conn. schools before working for many years as a hatter at the former Lee and Mallory's hat factories. After the demise of the hat business he was employed at Borden's Dairy and Castro Convertible in Danbury. Mike was very active in the labor movement serving as president and other positions with the United Hat, Cap and Millenary Workers and later as a shop steward for the Teamsters Union. \r\r\n\r\r\nIn 1947 Mike married the love of his life, Isabelle Irene Treadwell of Danbury and together they shared 52 years together before Isabelle's death in 1999. \r\r\n\r\r\n'Big Mike' was well known in the Danbury area as an all around athlete andcivic leader. He played on several famous early Danbury teams including the Trojans, Shamrollers, Danbury Big Five and Danbury Guards. Mike also played on the New England Area basketball championship team while stationed in Fort Devens, Mass., in 1943. Later Mike served as president of the Danbury War Memorial and in 1970 as president of the Old Timers Athletic Association of Greater Danbury. The Old Timers honored him in 1974, an honor he truly cherished. Each year he looked forward to traveling to Danbury to attend the annual banquet and visit with old friends. Mike also coached baseball for many years in the Danbury Junior and Park Leagues. \r\r\n\r\r\nDuring World War II Mike served from 1942-1946 in the Army Air Corps. He attained the rank of staff sergeant and was stationed in several locations including Hawaii. His younger brother, Alex, was lost in action during the conflict in the Indian Theater. \r\r\n\r\r\nIn 1973 Mike and his family relocated to Washington, Maine, a state he trulyloved, and bought a small farm where he was able to enjoy his love of gardeningand good times with his family. Together with Isabelle he restored an 1820s farmhouse overlooking the beautiful Camden Hills. His greatest enjoyments came from reading books on history, especially World War II, the Civil War and Henry David Thoreau, cooking Russian dishes, growing vegetables, visits from friends and relatives, traveling to historic sites in Maine and elsewhere, cutting wood with his sons, watching his son, Alan and later his granddaughter, Sarah compete in high school sports, warming before the wood stove and most of all spending time with his family, especially holidays. Mike retired from the former Augusta Supply Company in 1980 and enjoyed this time with Isabelle at home and travels along the Maine coast and forests. Together they liked to go out to breakfast frequently at Deering Ice Cream, Helen's, Elmer's, Cabin Fever, Come Spring and Hannibal's. \r\r\n\r\r\nHe is survived and forever remembered by his sons and their families, Michael D. Baran and his wife, Linda (Dadson) Baran, and their daughter, Sarah Baran, of Monmouth, and Alan R. Baran and his wife, Karen Huard, and their daughter, Whitney Huard, of Old Orchard Beach; his brother and sister-in-law, Serge and Dorothy Baran of Huntington Beach, Calif., sister-in-law, Vera Baran of Beacon; nephews, Kerry Baran of Beacon and Martin Baran of Huntington Beach; niece, Anne Baran of Bellerose, N.Y.; and numerous cousins in Connecticut, New York and Maryland. \r\r\n\r\r\nTwo brothers, Walter and Alexander Baran, and one daughter, Marsha Elaine Baran predeceased Mike. \r\r\n\r\r\nRelatives and friends are invited to call from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home, 1 Church St., Augusta. A committal service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the chapel at the Maine Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, Civic Center Drive, Augusta, with Rev. Peter Inchcombe officiating. \r\r\n\r\r\nMemorial contributions may be made to Make A Wish Foundation, 87 Elm St., Suite 203, Camden 04843.