Jake S. Baird died early on Friday Jan. 12, leaving sadness in all whom he had touched in his few short years on earth. He was 17.

He was born on July 14, 2000, aided by his Aunt Vanessa’s quickness in the delivery room. He spent his early years in Worcester and was close to his older sister Rya and younger cousin Rachel Grace.

His family moved to the Vineyard in 2003, living in Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury and Aquinnah. In October 2004 his sister Jayden joined the family. Early in 2007, Jake and his sisters moved to the home of their grandparents Al and Jill Woollacott of Oak Bluffs, where he lived until his death.

Fun-loving, honest and moving at times to a different drumbeat, Jake thought independently, asked and pondered big questions, and was unafraid of standing outside convention. One of the best expressions of Jake’s free thought came through his performances in the youth improv group, IMP.

Through IMP his confidence grew, allowing more of his inner self to emerge. He brought humor to the stage in novel ways. And he was there to help younger IMPers develop their skills.

Jake was steadfast in his beliefs, even stubborn at times, but also had compassion for all. He had a heart of gold, an infectious smile, warmth and laughter. His greatest fulfillment came in helping others. As a freshman, his classmates nominated him to be a member of peer outreach, and as a senior, the faculty nominated him to participate in the race cultural retreat. On Jan. 11, he received the Renaissance Award from Project Vine where he took a leadership role inspiring underclassmen.

Ever energetic, he worked summers landscaping at Vineyard Gardens, cutting lawns in Harthaven, and did some work in construction. One of his greatest passions was working on cars. He had planned to further his education in auto mechanics after graduation in Colorado, near his Uncle Justin and family. Jake had spent a few summer vacations with them camping in Colorado.

He left this world happy, bound to live in eternity with his infectious smile.

He is survived by his parents George Baird and Alyson Woollacott; sisters Rya and Jayden Baird; maternal half-siblings Aneecya, Jahlil and Jamere Willis; grandparents and guardians, Alfred 3rd and Jill Woollacott; grandparents Janice and Sonny Silva; his uncles Jason and Dominic Baird and their family; his aunt Vanessa Woollacott and her daughter Rachel Grace Mahoney; his uncle Justin Woollacott, wife Marie and sons Eli and Jamus; his uncle Jared Woollacott, wife Jamie and daughter Amadea Zyn; many cousins; his great-grandmother Suzanne Chandler and her companion Bruno Eisner of Sarasota, Fla., and many cousins. Jake’s presence in their lives will be missed deeply.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury, which will include a sharing of memories. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. Visit cgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.