WINCHESTER, N.H. -- Kendall “Bud” Baker Jr., 73, of Mechanic Street, died Friday evening, April 8, 2005, in Winchester, with family members at his side.
He was born in Brattleboro, Vt., on July 2, 1931, the son of Lucille (Drugg) and Kendall Baker Sr.
Mr. Baker was a lifelong resident of Winchester where he attended local schools, graduating in 1949 from Thayer High School. During his high school years, he was an accomplished athlete, participating in football, baseball and basketball. His achievements included being named to the 1949 All State basketball tournament team.
Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant, having served 31/2 years during the Korean Conflict.
On July 3, 1953, Mr. Baker married Elizabeth Jean Patnode and began to raise a family while working in management at the A.C. Lawrence Leather Tannery in Winchester for 26 years.
He was an active community member and served the Town of Winchester in many ways including auditor, planning board member, budget committee member and selectman. He also served as treasurer of the Winchester Fire Department and performed several tasks for the United Church, including president. He was a 30-year member of the Winchester School Board serving many terms as chairman. He also served one term on the New Hampshire State School Board. His support was integral in the building of the Winchester Elementary School and the Thayer High School gymnasium. Mr. Baker and his family were invited to Concord by then-governor Mel Thompson to witness the signing of legislation supporting the gym construction.
An active Republican Party supporter for many years, Mr. Baker followed national politics as well as local. He was the local campaign manager for Nelson A. Rockefeller and Gov. Hugh Gregg, receiving personal letters of thanks from both.
Mr. Baker spent many years coaching baseball and men's softball. He coached at many levels of youth baseball, including 10 years as manager of the Babe Ruth team playing in the Keene League. Many of the players whom he coached at the Thayer High School varsity level, later played under his guidance on the Winchester town softball team, which he coached for many years. This team enjoyed many successful seasons, including a trip to the New England regional tournament.
Mr. Baker was also a dedicated friend and family member. While always being supportive of his family he also encouraged them and let them know they could “do anything they set their mind to.” He had many hobbies, but enjoyed most his time spent with family and friends, particularly his three grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth J. Baker, of Winchester; two sons, Ronald Baker of Brea, Calif., Brian K. Baker Sr. of Winchester; a daughter, Carri Trocha of Hooksett; two sisters, Charlotte Downey of Boise, Idaho, and Marilyn Baker of Winchester; three grandchildren, Jennifer Baker, Matthew Coleman and Brian K. Baker Jr.; and several nieces and nephews. A daughter, Lauri Coleman died in 1986.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. in the United Church of Winchester (South Church), 99 Main St. Friends are welcome. For those who wish, contributions may be made in his memory to the E.L.M. Memorial Community Center, 21 Durkee St., Winchester, NH 03470 or to the United Church of Winchester, 99 Main St., Winchester, NH 03470.
THE FOLEY FUNERAL HOME, 49 Court St., Keene, is in charge of the arrangements.u