Dick Wayne Baker, age 76 years, three months and one day, was born May 15, 1934 to Doyle and Laura Mae Baker at Knowlton, Iowa.
The family moved to a farm northeast of Mount Ayr where Dick worked along with his family and later took over the farm raising cattle and hogs. He also helped his father dig water wells and after his parent’s death, Dick left the farm and went on road construction. He could run any type of heavy equipment and farm equipment. Dick was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Benton and had served in the U.S. Air Force.
Dick had one son, Kevin, from a previous marriage. On July 22, 1974, Dick was married to Ann Welsh Lane and together they finished raising Kevin and Ann’s children, Skip, Larry and Beverly. Dick enjoyed fishing, hunting, woodworking and helping in the garden every year. Dick’s greatest joy was his grandkids and great-grandchildren. The oldest grandson, Kenny, called him ‘Papa’ and the name was handed down to every grandchild and great-grandchild.
He had a nickname for each kid and even as they became adults, he continued to use their pet names. He loved to tease and joke with people and was always courteous and thanked everyone who did things for him. His health really began to fail in the summer of 2009 and it had been downhill after a bout with pneumonia. He spent his retirement years at his home in Benton until his health required extra help. Dick made residence at Mount Ayr Health Care Center on May 28, 2010 and was there till his death on August 16, 2010.
Dick leaves behind his wife, Ann, of Benton, Iowa; four children, Kevin and wife Tracey of Moore, Oklahoma, Skip and wife Tina of Niles, Michigan, Larry of Benton, Iowa and Beverly Straight and husband Rodney of Clearfield, Iowa; 15 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; his siblings, Norma Webb and husband Bill of Tingley, Iowa, Iona Triggs of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Elmer and wife Mary Jo of Mountain Home, Arkansas and Joyce Ward and husband Jim of Maryville, Missouri; sisters-in-law, Alma Bauer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Claire Heaton and husband Norm of Elkhart, Indiana, and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Doyle and Laura Baker; parents-in-law, Harry and Mary Welsh; seven sisters-in-law and nine brothers-in-law including Duane Triggs of Mount Ayr, Iowa.
A memorial fund has been established in his name to be decided later.
Services were conducted at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Friday, August 20, 2010, with Rev. Terry Roberts officiating. Musicians were Nancy Sackett, Mary Davenport and Margaret Bickers.
Casket bearers included Larry Lane, Cody Jay, Mark Triggs, Merle Triggs, Steve Webb, Junior Swank, Bob Haley and Alan Schultz.
Honorary pallbearers were Elmer Baker, Bill Webb, Kris Lane, Kenny Lane, Rodney Straight and Skip Lane.
Dick was laid at rest in the Benton Cemetery, Benton.