George A. Baker, 94, of Elyria, died Saturday, December 15, 2007 at Wesleyan Village in Elyria. He was born November 14, 1913 in Washington Courthouse, Ohio and has been a resident of Elyria most of his life.
He was a 1931 graduate of Elyria High School and was chairperson and a member of the musical male quartet of the class reunion which is the longest, continuous annual high school reunion in the state of Ohio. In 2003, he received the Distinguished Elyria High School Alumni Award.
He was the “Poster Boy” for the Elyria Public Schools Bond Issue in November 2007 for the construction of the new Elyria High School. He attended Fenn College and Lorain County Community College. He graduated from Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and received a certificate from the New Orleans School of Cooking.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army during WWII and received two Purple Hearts. He was a staff sergeant and tank commander with company D, 749th Tank Battalion and fought in battles throughout Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland and Central Europe.
For 17 years he was the National Administrator of the 749th Tank Battalion Association for which he developed and published a perpetual calendar. He also received the French Medal of Honor from French President Garrec. In 2007, he and 130 Northern Ohio WWII veterans visited the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.
As a young man, he and his father established Baker Office Equipment Co. in the Baker Building on Second Street in Elyria, where he worked as owner-operator until retiring in August 2006. He hired and assisted in training joint vocational students.
At their inceptions, he donated organizational space to the School Employees Credit Union and to Lake Ridge Academy. He also donated business equipment and machines to display at The Ohio Historical Society Center in Columbus.
He participated in a multitude of training courses, seminars and programs as well as, training in the fields of sales management, accounting, building management, maintenance and operation. He was a former member and past president of Elyria East Kiwanis Club and a member of Elyria Kiwanis Club, and received the Legion of Honor Award for 50 Years of Service. He was a member of The Friends of the Elyria Public Library. In 1992, he was president of the Elyria Historical Commission and was chairman in the development of the Elyria Ohio 175th Commemorative Calendar and Book.
He also received a letter of appreciation from the Elyria Public Library for the depository of Elyria City Directories. He was a member of Washington Avenue Christian Church, where he served on the church board and property committee, was a former deaconate chairman and sang in the choir. He was a life member of Lorain County Historical Society, a member of American Legion Post 12, where he had been an auxiliary policeman and a member of Elyria V.F.W. #1079 and Disabled American Veterans. He trained at St. Joseph Hospital as a hospice volunteer and earned 1300 hours of service. He was a life member of Elyria Elks Lodge #465, where he was the oldest member and a life member of the Elyria Moose Club. He was a member of MENSA, he was a Kentucky Colonel and a historian and had traveled throughout the United States and all of the continents. He has been a P.T.A. officer at Spring Valley and Northwood Schools and was a representative of DeMolays.
In 1990 and 1991, he worked with the Bureau of Census for the United States Department of Commerce. He received an award for his dedicated effort on priority mail as a measurement study with the United States Postal Service. For 14 years, he was president of the Linwood Park Cottage Owners Association. He was involved in scouting and served as an assistant scout master, scout master, committee chairman and board member.
He was a golfer and a member of the U.S. Golf Association. For many years, he enjoyed his three German Shepherds and Terrier Poodle. Throughout his life, he was a family and community oriented person who lived each day to the fullest.
George is survived by his wife of 61 years, Adelle (nee Nemeth); a son, Karl George Baker of N. Ridgeville; and a daughter, Esta Rachel Baker of Salisbury, Maryland; nephews, Warren, Harold and Alan Robinson, all of Elyria.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Pearl (nee Epps) Baker.
George’s family will receive friends from 2 to 5 P.M. Sunday, December 23, 2007 at Dicken Funeral Home, 323 Middle Ave. Elyria. A musical memorial service will be 2 P.M. Sunday, February 10, 2007 at Washington Avenue Christian Church, 301 Washington Ave., Elyria. Rev. Janet A. Long will officiate. Burial will be in Ridge Hill Memorial Park, Amherst Township.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Washington Avenue Christian Church or The New Elyria High School Wish List Project, 42101 Griswold Rd., Elyria, OH 44035.