JERRY BAKER, 73 KINGSTON - Jerry Baker, 73, of Kingston passed peacefully into eternal life on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. He was born Jan. 17, 1939, in the Cumberland Mountain community of Pineville, Ky., to the late William and Hylie (Miller) Baker. Jerry graduated from Pineville High School in 1958, and played football during his high school years. In the summer of 1958, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and spent his four year tenure at the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., as a petroleum systems management specialist, working with the Atlas Missile. Jerry returned to Kentucky in the fall of 1962 and enrolled at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky., completing a double major in history, political science and English, and earned his bachelor's degree in 1966. There he met his wife, Cynthia Kowalski, and the couple married on Aug. 26, 1967. After a short teaching career, Jerry and Cynthia relocated to Northern Illinois in March 1973, where he settled and spent the remaining 40 years of his life. He was employed as a plant manager and maintenance supervisor at Vee Jay Plastics Inc., in Burlington for 34 years, retiring in 2007. Survivors include wife, Cynthia (Kowalski) Baker of Kingston; son, Conrad (Valerie) Baker of Gladstone, Mich.; beloved grandchildren, Chase, Kellen and Allyson Baker; brother, Rick Baker of Bowling Green, Ky., sister, Dorcil Albair of Hackberry, La.; numerous nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and -nephews. Predeceased by parents, William and Hylie (Miller) Baker, and brother, Gene Baker. Service at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, in Olson Funeral and Cremation Services Ltd., Cooper Quiram Chapel, 202 E. Main St., Genoa, with visitation from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; the Rev. Dr. Daniel F. Diss will officiate. Graveside service with military honors following the service in North Grove Evangelical Cemetery, near Leaf River. Memorials may be made to honor Jerry to the University of The Cumberlands, President's office, 6191 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, KY, 40769 (606)539-4201. To share a memory or condolence, visit olsonfh.com or call 815-784-2518.
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Published in Rockford Register Star from January 5 to January 6, 2013