Wayne Franklin Baker(1934 - 2013)

Wayne Franklin Baker November 24, 1934 - February 20, 2013 Wayne was born in Kirkwood, Missouri on November 24, 1934, to George Custus Baker and Elizabeth (Bessie) Clark Baker, and passed away in Bakersfield, CA on February 20, 2013 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. As a young child the family moved from Missouri to California and established residency in Bakersfield in 1944. Attending local schools, Wayne graduated from Kern County Union High School in 1952. Wayne started working in the grocery business at the young age of 16 at Kelly's market in Bakersfield, establishing a career that would span 43 years at Thriftimart and Von's. It would be this extremely honorable work ethic that would be Wayne's lasting legacy. The stories of his night crew escapades will stay with us for many years, along with the continuous effort he put forth on a daily basis. His 43 year work career was briefly interrupted after being drafted into service into the US Army in 1959. During his time in Germany, he was able to serve with The King, Elvis Presley, which he downplayed, typical of his nature. His children proudly display the photo of Wayne and Elvis together. After returning from his service, he married Linda Cheryl Ream and together they raised four children, Elizabeth (Lisa) Hammond, Larry Baker (wife Gayla), Wayne Baker II (wife Margaret) and Susan Gatschet (husband Brian). Wayne's hard work provided his family many memorable vacations such as the trips to Yosemite, the Great Northwest, Yellowstone, Oklahoma, Grand Canyon and the Southwest. He was a great father and provider even in the most difficult of times. We all would do well to emulate his giving nature. In Wayne's later years, after an amicable separation form Linda, he married a lady from the Ukraine. This marriage to Natalya gave him some of his most proud moments as he willingly and knowingly provided her and her family with an opportunity that many from that region never receive, including putting both of his stepchildren through college. Both Oleysa and Ivan will be forever grateful, and this support made him feel very special and unique. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, brother Jackie Baker and sister Bonnie Rider. Wayne is survived by his wife Natalya, his children, his grandchildren Alex Hammond, Sharie Baker, Aaron Baker, Seth Baker, Collin Baker, Justin Gatschet, Matthew Gatschet, great grandchildren Serenity, Emily and Jeremiah, and stepchildren Oleysa and Ivan. Services will be held a Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 11:AM. www.bakersfield.com/obits

Published in Bakersfield Californian from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24, 2013