October 23, 2018

In memoriam: Barry J. Baker

Lansing – 74, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, musician, and proud Spartan, was released to his Heavenly Father on Friday, August 17, 2018, at the Eaton Community Palliative Care hospice facility, Charlotte. Barry was born in Lansing on July 8, 1944, to Maurice C. and Marian R. (Quick) Baker. He grew up in Lansing and East Lansing, graduating from East Lansing High School (1963) and from MSU (1977), and served his country as a chaplain’s aide on Guam, and at stations around the country, in the U.S. Navy. On March 21, 1970, in Stockbridge, he joined with the love of his life, Carol A. (Robinson) Baker, to start a family that grew from his strong example of character and humor. He worked for the State of Michigan in different office divisions for many years, retiring in 2006. Barry loved music, especially Big Band Jazz and Swing (his license plate, “S4TCHMO,” honored his hero Louis Armstrong), and played his trumpet for decades with the Lansing Concert Band, the MSU Strolling Spartans, and multiple other groups in the mid-Michigan area. For years he announced halftimes as “The Voice of the Lansing Eastern High School Marching Band,” and served as a Cubmaster for his boys in the Chief Okemos Council of Scouts. He was an active member and leader at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church of South Lansing, where his Christian family will deeply mourn their loss, but celebrate the Kingdom’s gain.

Among the great crowd of friends and relatives who knew and loved him, Barry is survived by his devoted wife, Carol; proud sons, Bill (Chris) of Columbus, Ohio, and Jim (Becky) of Grand Haven, Michigan; loving grandchildren, Ben and Molly of Grand Haven; brother, Richard of Lansing; sisters, Carol Keesler (Garth) of Alabama and Lisa Baker (Ed Hahn) of California; brother-in-law, John Robinson of Leslie; and nieces and nephews, Justine (James) and Vanessa (Jeremy), Sara, Becket (Sophia) and Colleen, Jason (Heather), and their families. Barry was a generous and loving man of integrity, honest, always cheerful, a man with loads of friends. We will all miss Barry’s big smile, his wonderful laugh and his bear hugs. Very simply, the world has lost a good person today.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 6500 Amwood Dr., Lansing. Interment will take place in Oak Lawn Cemetery, Stockbridge, at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday. His family will receive friends at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in memory of Barry Baker. Online condolences may be left for his family at www.EstesLeadley.com.

Published in Lansing State Journal on Aug. 20, 2018