James Baker

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JAMES LYLE BLAIR BAKER, 73 CHADWICK - James Lyle Blair Baker, 73, of Chadwick, Illinois passed away on June 14, 2014 in his home surrounded by his loving family. Whatever you preferred to call him, Jim, Bake, Dad, Uncle, Grandpa, he lived a remarkable life. He was born in Savanna, Illinois on July 27, 1940; the first child to James and Virginia (Lynch) Blair of Lanark, Illinois. At age 8, Jim's mother passed away leaving him, his father and siblings to fend at a time when a mother ran the home. In an effort to help the family, his best friend's mother and father took him in at age 11 and he spent the remainder of his childhood as James Blair Baker, being adopted by Howard and Deloris (Harger) Baker. Jim graduated from Prophetstown High School in 1958 and went on to study engineering at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. After only a short time, Jim left college and returned home to marry Paula Nadine Church of Prophetstown, his high school sweetheart. Jim and Paula moved to Fairhaven, Illinois and were blessed with two children, Margo (William) Weber of Chadwick and James (Laura) Baker of Stillman Valley. Jim was very dependable, a man who believed in the value of hard work. He and Paula farmed together for many years raising cattle, hogs and grain. Ups and downs followed; Jim also went to work for GE in Morrison on the assembly line and Johnsons Feed in Mt. Carroll running sprayers and nurse truck. In 1993 Jim went to work as a mechanic for Curtis and Sons in Lanark. Jim's fingernails were always dirty; he could fix any bailer, combine, or planter you put in front of him. He retired in 2007 and since worked part time for Woessner Farms in Milledgeville driving truck. Jim and Paula were blessed with four grandchildren. They spent countless hours warming bleachers at choir concerts, football games, wrestling matches and dance recitals. Jim loved to work in his garden, fish, play cards, crossword puzzles, and watch the Cubbies and the Bears play ball. He loved a good laugh and you could always count on him for a dirty joke. He lived his life on his own terms and enjoyed many great moments. He will be missed. Jim joins his family in heaven, James and Virginia Blair (father and mother), Howard and Deloris Baker (father and mother), Juanita Blair (step-mother), LeMoyne Baker (brother), and Sandra Welker (step-sister). Jim leaves behind his wife and children; grandchildren, Heidi (Jason) Weber-Hall of Shelbyville, IL, Tyler (Monica) Baker of Sycamore, IL, Melody Weber (Christopher Stauffer) of Chadwick, and Kaitlyn Baker of Hoboken, NJ; one step-great-grandchild, Trey Hall; step-mother, Nelda Baker of Freeport; several siblings, Carl (Jan) Blair, Pat (Phil) Gerbitz, Diana DeGroot, Michael (Sharon) Welker, Don Welker, Brenda (Ed) Higley, Glenda Stamper (Hollie Renfro), Byron (Pat) Baker, and many nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the Frank-Law-Jones Funeral Home in Mt. Carroll, Illinois. Burial will take place in Chadwick Cemetery. Visitation will be held 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at the Frank-Law-Jones Funeral Home in Mt. Carroll. A memorial fund has been established in Jim's memory. Friends and family are invited to share in Jim's life at www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com.
Published in Rockford Register Star from June 17 to June 18, 2014
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