Reverend H. Lee Baker
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July 21, 1924 - May 8, 2013
"When picking strawberries pick one for the basket and one for yourself."
Reverend Howard Lee Baker passed away shortly after midnight on May 8, 2013 at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho. Lee is survived by his wife Frances and his three children; Kathleen, Kristine and Keith as well as six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Lee was born in Akron, Ohio July 21, 1924 to Howard and Hazel Baker and had a sister Harriet-Ann. When Lee was 12 and the depression was going strong he got his first job selling magazine subscriptions from his wagon to help support his family. He graduated from East High School and then joined the Army where he served two years during World War II. His military time was spent in the Philippines and he served in Japan assisting with the clean up after the drop of the A Bomb.
When he was discharged from the Army, February 20, 1946 he came home and he then attended Kent State University. He was very active in the swim team for the four years he was there and majored in Commercial Art and Business. While attending Kent State he worked at B.F. Goodrich and soon met the love of his life Frances Mary Jackson. They were married on August 19, 1949. During their first years of marriage they had two girls; Kathleen Ann and Kristine Leigh. Lee worked for Sears and Roebuck to support the family and in 1959 he got a transfer to California and the family relocated to the "Sunshine State". Soon after the move the third child was born. Lee got his son Keith Allen.
After the children were pretty well grown, Kathleen was married, Kristine getting ready to graduate college and Keith soon to graduate from High School Lee was called to the ministry. He answered the Lord's call and served several churches in California, Oregon and Idaho. While he served as a Pastor in the church he was very active with the Walk to Emmaus Community and also served as Chaplin for St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho as well as Chaplin for the Idaho State Police. When Pastor Lee "retired" from the ministry he remained active in the First United Methodist Church in Pocatello teaching a Sunday school class. He loved serving the Lord and helping people above all else.
Pastor Lee's greatest joy was being with and serving his family. He had many opportunities to do that as he was able to not only baptize five of his grandchildren but he also performed the wedding services for the three oldest, Charlotte, Cassandra and Andrew. To add even more joy to his life he was able to perform the wedding service for his son Keith. In doing this each time his heart was filled to overflowing with the joy of having the ability to serve his children.
He lived a long and full life and when asked about his priorities he would tell you his wife was first then his children and the Lord. He had a great passion for his flowers and making a beautiful home for his family. He was and artist and loved painting and creating things from wood. He will be greatly missed by all those that knew him as a man of passion, compassion and boundless love.
A Memorial Service will be held at the First United Methodist Church on May 25, 2013 at 2:00PM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the camping program through the church. Pastor Lee loved the youth and knew that they are the most important resource that we have.
Published in Idaho State Journal from May 11 to May 12, 2013