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Robert F. Baker


1930 - 2013 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert F. Baker Obituary
Robert F. Baker, 82, of Berkeley, IL, world renowned movie extra, hypnotist, real estate mogul, tire salesman, and all-around master of BS, passed away exactly how everyone would want to on March 29, 2013, at his home peacefully in his sleep. On Tuesday, December 16, 1930, in Chicago, IL Bob was welcomed into the world by his parents, Howard and Marie Baker. Bob would later forgive the newspapers for not covering this historic event and would make his daily pilgrimage to Walgreens to buy the paper instead of lazily receiving home delivery. He had a wonderful childhood growing up in the Austin area of Chicago. After graduating from Austin High School with an honorary doctorate, and since college was no longer necessary, Bob joined the United States Army. He served during the Korean Conflict in Italy and always had luck on his side ("bad teeth") and saw very little combat. Seeing no possible way to advance directly from Private First Class to Brigadier General, Bob was honorably discharged from his service and began a lifelong career of making a career. He moved to Cicero and married the love of his life, Nadine Wilkins, and became a father. No, strike that. He became a dad, the best dad as a matter of fact. He enjoyed playing with his children and their friends and was their "big playmate." Never one to be sporty himself, he would run the bike and foot races in Park Home across from their home and made sure everyone had a great time. He did everything with them. Like any good father, Bob would take his family to the stock car races every Friday and Saturday. He always made sure his children knew he loved them and told them so with his simple, "I love you." Though they divorced, Bob never remarried, and for the rest of his life he always remained a loving friend to Nadine. She passed away in January of 2013 and was there to welcome Bob into eternity with, "What the @&$! are you doing here already?" Bob always loved cars. On Saturday morning's you would find his good looking end hanging out of the front end of his immaculate 1957 Chevy Bel Air. He was a faithful member of the church of NASCAR and also never missed an Indy 500, listening to them on the radio before they were on TV. Bob was a man of many talents and a master of none. He sold auto parts for B.F. Goodrich. He held a real estate license and a hypnosis certificate, which probably would have worked in his favor had he practiced both at the same time. Bob was a great actor. So good that the directors never allowed him to speak for fear he would become the next big star. He "appeared" in A League of Their Own, Home Alone, The Untouchables and on the cutting room floor of many other editing studios. Bob also appeared on television in such classics as Unsolved Mysteries, Father Dowling and his famous IL Lottery commercial. He also made several industrial films for Kraft Foods, Allstate Insurance, Bakers Square and Rotary International. He was voted Third Runner Up for two years in Chicago's "The Great American Male Beauty" Pageant, but always felt cheated that the guy with half a leg got second. He always had a garden wherever he lived. Even when he was in the apartment in Cicero he had corn growing in the back lot. His rolling Berkeley estate allowed him to produce much larger harvests that he would share with his friends and neighbors. Bob is survived by his devoted children, Kathy (Tom) Baker Bowen, Robert (Georgia) Baker, II, and Steven (Sharon) Baker; his wonderful grandchildren, Kelly Boyd, Kristen Bowen, Deanne Twente, Sara and Bob Baker, Brian Baker and his great-grandchildren Blake and Adrianna Bowen, Emma and Chloe Ongman, Michael and Dugan Boyd, Chase, Autumn, Justice Twente, Nichole Baker; and his loving brother, Ronald (Marie) Baker. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Bonnie and Arlene, and his grandson, Keith Ongman. Visitation Monday, April 1, 4:00 - 8:00 PM at the Overman-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, corner of Routes 30 & 59, Plainfield. A Celebration of Bob's life will be Tuesday, April 2, 10:00 AM at the funeral home. Interment with military honors will follow at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood. 815-436-9221 www.overmanjones.com
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Mar. 31, 2013
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