HALLETTSVILLE - Richard Lee Baker (Bob), our beloved Marine
husband, father and grandfather, passed away Tuesday morning Oct. 26, 2010 at the age of 76. He died at Lavaca Medical Center of natural causes after a life of service devoted to his family, his community and his country.
Richard was born March 4, 1934 in Stroud, Okla. He grew up on a farm and lived a simple country life where he developed a love for the outdoors and a curiosity for nature that became a life long passion. Throughout his life he shared that passion with any who would join him, and he pursued it wherever it led him.
On March 21, 1951 Richard joined the United States Marine Corps. At the age of 17 he became a Marine for life. He enlisted with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Division and began a distinguished military career as a weapons technician, earning expert badges in rifle and pistol marksmanship. Richard loved the Marine Corps and lived his life by the moral standards and strict discipline he acquired while proudly serving in Korea and Vietnam. He retired from active duty on Feb. 28, 1971 and transferred to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve where he served for an additional 10 years. He was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Lone Star Chapter 854.
After leaving the military, Richard owned a gun repair shop and worked in construction before settling in Hallettsville in December 1979. He joined the Hallettsville School District in August 1983 and worked in the maintenance department until he retired as maintenance director in August 2008.
An avid gardener and rock hunter, Richard made the most of his place in Hallettsville. He was the "Rock Man" to school children and fellow rock hounds who came from all around to see his popular Rock Shop, known for the collection of beautiful exotic rocks and gems he traveled all over the country to find. He sent many students on their way with pockets full of polished rocks and gems. Richard was loved for his enthusiasm and generosity. He was a gracious friend to many and a role model to his children.
Richard is survived by his brother, Wayne; sisters Noni, Jackie and Gwen; and wife of 35 years, Marianne Newman Baker. Surviving children are sons, Richard Lee Baker Jr. and wife Kathy, Malcolm Trey Baker and wife Charlotte, and Kevin Edward Kendall; daughters, Rhonda Burrage, Lara Bennett and husband Clay, and Kathleen Lee Prescott. Dearly loved were his grandchildren, Michelle Baker Wright, James Matthew Baker, Kelli Baker Palermo, Kenneth Burrage, Ciara "Niki" Major, Chloe Burrage, Henry and Owen Bennett, Erin Kennedy Rutecki, John Paul Prescott, Emma and Sofia Baker; and great-grandchildren Haylee, Kylie, Ethan, Kierston and Caleb.
A memorial service with military honors will be held for Richard at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 at First United Methodist Church, 206 South Dowling Street, Hallettsville TX 77964.
In lieu of flowers donations to the Vietnam Veterans of America, Lone Star Chapter #854 Scholarship Fund would be greatly appreciated.
He was our hero. We will miss you dad.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.kubenafuneralhome.com.
This obituary was originally published in the Victoria Advocate.