8/5/1921 - 8/2/2014. John Richard Baker, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend died Saturday, August 2, 2014 after a full and happy life. His death occurred four days prior to his 93rd birthday. John was born to John Siess and Mabel Spicer Baker in Polo, Missouri. He lived on a farm and was educated in a one-room schoolhouse as a young boy. John had always known that he wanted to be a civil engineer, and he graduated with an engineering degree from Ohio State University in 1948. His college years were interrupted by World War II, where, among other things, he assisted with designing and working on the Al-Can Highway. After the war, he married his life's sweetheart, Gay Alexander, and began a working career with Howard Needles Tammen and Bergendoff, that continued until age 70. His career took him from New York City, to Kansas City, to Baton Rouge, to Atlanta, and back to his beloved Louisiana, in Baton Rouge. John and Gay's marriage lasted for 50+ years, until Gay predeceased him in 1999. A lifelong musician with a magnificent singing voice, John sang with his church choir for 40 years. He was also an accomplished trombonist. The most humble and modest of men, John's engineering career included design work on the Atchafalaya Causeway, the Mississippi River Bridge and the West Bank Expressway in New Orleans, among many other projects. He is survived by his loving children, daughters and sons-in-law Ellen Baker Sanborn and Robert Sanborn of Houston and Sandra Baker Jordan and Steve Jordan of Lake Charles, and son and daughter-in-law Stephen Douglas Baker and Carol Baker of Lafayette. Other surviving family members include grandchildren and grandchildren-in-law Stephen and Ashley Baker, Courtney and Jason James, John and Ellen Baker, George and Kelly Jordan, Kathryn and Carey Clifton and Virginia Sanborn. Great grandchildren include Alex Baker, Rose Baker, Holt James and William Baker. Surviving siblings include Eloise Spray of McConnelsville, OH and Carolyn Iamon, of Bainbridge Georgia. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Funeral services will be Thursday, August 7, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at Broadmoor Methodist Church at 10230 Mollylea Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70815. Please come and join the family in celebrating the life of this amazing and beloved man. For those wishing to make a contribution in John's name, the family would be grateful for donations to Broadmoor Methodist Church.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6, 2014