Gary Baker age 79, passed away on Friday, July 17, 2020 at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center in Coffeyville, Ks from complications due to Covid-19. Gary was born on September 6, 1940 to Charles (Chick) and Nina Baker. He attended Coffeyville schools and graduated from Field Kindley High School in 1958. He married his High School sweetheart, Barbara Jean McKellips in 1961. They had two wonderful children; Kimberley Jo and Travis Lynn. Gary was very active in his church, the Coffeyville Seventh Day Adventist Church, where he was head elder for many years as well as handy man and grounds keeper.
Gary grew up in a large family of 10 children. 4 boys, Jim, Buford, Darrell and Gary and 6 girls, Lorna, Mary, Sharon, Charissa, Linda and Judy. Growing up in a family that large, Gary got away with lots of mischief that he loved telling stories about when family got together. One time, when Gary was around 11 years old, he wanted to see what was down in the bottom of a sewer hole, so he lit a match and threw it down into the hole. The next thing he knew, he was laying on the side of the street with the sewer cover beside him and a nice sized hole in the street. He ran straight home and ran up the stairs to his room. His mother had no idea until years later when he told the story. When all the kids would get together the boys would all tell their version of a fishing story. It was the same fishing trip with 4 different versions. We will never know the REAL story, but it was always fun to hear. Gary loved his family so much and spent as much time as he could with them. He had small odd jobs as a young boy such as a paper route with 100+ customers, he set pins at the bowling alley and he worked as a sack boy at Food Town.
Gary worked at Pressure Cast Products for most of his adult life. He also worked many side jobs, such as unloading sandbags from train cars, mowing cemeteries, mopping the floors of Kiwk Stop and many more. He worked hard to provide for his family. He made many friends at Pressure Cast and in the last few years, he and his friends would meet every Monday morning at Braums for breakfast. He enjoyed that more than anyone could ever know. He was known at Pressure Cast as “Doc Baker” because he would perform first aid on cuts and minor burns or take hurt work mates to the hospital for treatment. “Baker”, as he was also known, was very loyal to Pressure Cast and was one of the last ones there when they shut down.
Gary loved playing slow pitch baseball. He met a lot of great guys that way. He also loved volunteering to work at many haunted houses in the past. He would come home late at night and laugh and tell stories of all the people he scared. He really enjoyed that.
Gary loved going on adventures and later in life would travel more than he ever thought he would. From trips down the Grand Canyon to going to “HI Waii” to going on a couple of cruises, he enjoyed his time with his wife and sisters and nieces. For many years he would take his family on camping trips to Beaver Lake in Arkansas where they would boat and fish and feel like they were living the good life. This year was the first time in over 50 years that they would miss camping at Beaver and that is because of the deadly disease that took his life. If you were to ask him, camping was the best vacation you could take. Spending time with family around a campfire eating burnt marshmallows or playing a favorite card game, there is nothing like it. He did love driving to Grand Junction, CO to visit his sisters and nieces and eating Olathe Corn, fresh tomatoes and bringing back a truck load of fresh peaches that he would sell to friends to enjoy. One of Gary’s favorite sayings was “there is only 2 things in life that money can’t buy, True love and home-grown tomatoes” and he lived that life to the fullest with his 1 true love and ate plenty of homegrown tomatoes, especially with homemade gravy.
Gary was a Christian and he lived his life showing his love of the Lord. He helped as many people as he could, whether it was monetarily or just lending a shoulder. On Father’s Day several years ago, a client came to town to tour Pressure Cast. He was traveling with his wife in an RV from FL and just stopped in Coffeyville briefly. The client had a heart attack and died. Gary was called by the doctor on call as the only contact the couple had in Coffeyville. Gary spent the whole weekend with the grieving wife until her family could come to Coffeyville and be with her. That’s just the way he lived his life. Loving God and giving to others.
Gary’s memories will live on thru his wife of 59 years, Barbara Baker and his children; Kimberley Jo Jones and Charlie of Coffeyville and Travis Baker of Owasso; his Grandsons, Nicholas Johnson and his wife Shania of Coffeyville and Brandon Baker of Owasso and his 4 sisters; Linda Britton of Grand Junction, CO, Sharon McSpadden of Grand Junction, CO, Mary Morris of Farmington, NM and Judy Scears of Canonsburg, PA , Sister In law Georgia Baker of Coffeyville and many nieces and nephews. His many friends and church family.
He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Jimmy Baker, Buford Baker, Darrel Baker, Lorna Breese and Charissa Balcom.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel. Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 11 am at the First Southern Baptist Church, 2701 W 8th, Coffeyville, KS 67337. The family has requested memorial contributions be made payable to Seventh Day Adventist Church and may be left in care of the chapel. To leave an online message of condolence for the family visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com
Coffeyville SDA Church
2503 W 8th, Coffeyville KS 67337