Eugene Gene Oscar Baker
Eugene Gene Oscar Baker, devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed peacefully in his sleep December 21, 2012, in Medford, Ore. at age 86.
Gene was born June 21, 1926, in Haliday, N.D. to Ralph Sylvaneous Baker and Rose McLeod. He graduated from Drummond High School and enlisted in the Army. He served in the Philippine's and was later stationed at the Army Presidio in San Francisco, Calif. where he met the love of his life, Carmen Fernandez. They married December 29, 1946, and began their life together in Richmond, Calif. Soon they traveled to Montana. Gene graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor's degree in accounting.
Gene and Carmen moved to Spokane, Wash. with their two daughters where Gene started his business career with True's Oil. Always active in the community, Gene participated with the PTA, the National Office Managers Association (NOMA) and the Elks Club, serving as president in all three groups.
Three more daughters joined the family in Spokane. He enjoyed winning the Most Daughters award at church. He loved the outdoors, spending weekends camping and fishing with family and friends in the many lakes near Spokane.
In 1965 the couple moved the family to Bellevue, Wash. where Gene initially worked for RenaWare as the business manager, a position in which he continued for several car dealerships. Their sixth daughter joined the family in Bellevue.
In 1974, the couple moved to Medford, Ore. when he took a job with Crater Lake Ford as the business manager under then owner, Jim Coleman. His business manager's duties included overseeing the design, building and occupying of a new facility for the dealership.
Gene continued his community involvement. He was a member of the Jackson County Fair Board and contributed his talents to the building of the new fairgrounds now in Central Point. Gene was an avid member of the Crater Lions club and later the North Medford Lions club. He was nominated Lion of the Year. He particularly enjoyed being the Tail Twister. Over the years, he held each of the offices of the Lions club. In 1987, he was invited to join the Sight and Hearing Foundation Board in Portland, Ore., a term he held for four years. Gene was particularly proud of his fund raising efforts on behalf of the Lions' Annual Golf Tournament. He was especially grateful to his many community contacts who generously answered his requests for donations.
Gene's community service was impressive, but not nearly as impressive as his devotion to family. Whether it was his wife, daughters or friends, he was generous with his time and provided whatever he could to lending a hand. He strived to model strong values. His personal cornerstones included honesty, hard work, kindness and respect towards others, and a joy in being with his family and friends. He helped everyone with a giving heart and a fun-loving spirit. He was not a stranger to sacrifice and taught all of us that there is nothing more important than family. Gene's hard work resulted in a family that loved him dearly, and friends that cherished him.
Gene is survived by his wife of 66 years, Carmen (Fernandez); and their five daughters, Linda Ann (Lynn) Lawrence, of Kennewick, Wash., Dianne Carmen (Pete) Storrs, of Milwaukie, Ore., Lorraine Lori Mary (Gus) Hollis, of Deer Park, Texas, Treeza Rose Fernandez (Michael Shaw), of Medford, and Lisa Marie (Mike) Carpenter, of Everett, Wash. He took pride in the achievements of his 19 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Estella (Denman) Gerstung, of Paso Robles, Calif., Robert Bob (Molly) Baker, of Clarkston, Idaho, and Laura Fiddler, of Spokane, Wash. and brothers-in-law, Chuck Miller, of American Forks, Utah and Dale Betts, of Condon, Mont. Gene enjoyed close relationships with his many nieces and nephews.
Gene was predeceased by his daughter, Rosemary Rosie Rupert Reisinger (2003); and granddaughter, Jeannine Carmen Storrs (1984). He was also predeceased by his brother, Elvin M. Baker; and sisters, Violet, and her husband, Heber Miller, of Lolo, Mont., Ellen Miller, of American Forks, Utah, and Ardella Betts, of Condon, Mont.
A memorial will be held in 2013 at a location to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gene's name to Southern Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Center, 228 N. Holly, Medford, OR 97501.