Joseph Martin Baker Jr., 85, of Annapolis, died February 8 at his daughter's home in New Market, just two days from his 86th birthday. Joe was born in Asheville, NC on February 10, 1927 to Joseph Martin Baker Sr. and Julia Hortence Baker, settling in Baltimore in 1939. During his youth, the family built a summer cottage in Beverley Beach, where Joe spent most of his childhood, moving full time to the beach in 1945. He later lived in Edgewater Beach, moving to Annapolis in 1959. While living in Baltimore, Joe attended Baltimore City College, where he was president of his senior class, graduating in 1945. After graduation he attend ed the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, graduating in December 1947. He then served a short period in the USNR as Lt. on board the USS Valley Forge as a gunnery officer. In 1948, he attended the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, later finishing his education at the University of TN, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He graduated in 1950, and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Joe's career began in 1950 as a building supplies salesman for the Eckington Building Supply Co. in Washington DC, traveling from Beverley Beach to his territory in Northern Virginia. In 1955, he left the business supply company and began a career in association management. After 37 years of service to the Washington, DC based Association of Wall and Ceiling Contractors, he retired in 1992. The association presented him with its highest award, The Pinnacle Award, and made him an honorary life member upon his retirement. Following retirement from AWCI, Joe ran the National Cargo Security Council, which represented shippers, retailers, and law enforcement. He served the Annapolis based association for nearly seven years, during which time its membership roll was expanded. He helped found the American Subcontractors Association, an organization representing all subcontracting industries in construction, and worked closely with that organization for many years. In recognition of his service to the industry, ASA presented him with its highest honor, the John H. Hampshire Award, in 1987. He is the only association executive to have received this award. As a member of the Washington Society of Association Executives, WSAE, Joe served on numerous committees and rose to President of the association. He was also a member of the American Society of Association Executives, ASAE, and was in the first class of CAE's, Certified Association Executives. After three years of serving on the ASAE board, he was elected to Vice President for a term of one year. He was awarded ASAE's Key Award in 1979. The Key Award honors the association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership in his or her own association, and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations as a whole. Joe had been active in politics since 1953, beginning with his work on permanency legislation for the United States Merchant Marine Academy. In 1957 he was a precinct leader for the Republication Party, while still registered as a Democrat, later changing his registration to Republican under the Eisenhower Administration. Joe ran unsuccessfully for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1958. He is recognized as co-founder of the Republican Party in Anne Arundel County. In 1959, he founded the Republican Organization of Anne Arundel County, which became the official republican machinery in the county. He was elected to the Republican State Central Committee, and at the same time was nominated for United States Congress, running in 1962, in Maryland's 5th district, losing to Democratic incumbent Richard Lankford. In his 1962 campaign, Joe was the first candidate for a major office in the state of Maryland to call for the outlawing of slot machines. Following the election, he was named Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee of Anne Arundel County and served in that position for four years. In 1964, he went to the Republican National Convention in San Francisco as one of four delegates from Maryland pledged to Barry Goldwater. Over the years, he was invited to the White House on numerous occasions, meeting with Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and the Bushes. Reagan welcomed him to the White House by saying, "Well, if it isn't that old Joe Baker again." He worked with senators and congressmen and was invited often to Capitol Hill. He was an active member of the Republication Capitol Hill Club, serving for 15 years on the Board of Governors. Grateful for his years at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Joe was dedicated to Kings Point, and through his early congressional efforts, insured the Academy's permanency by gaining Congressional confirmation in 1956, with the Kings Point Permanency Bill. His efforts were recognized in "We'll Deliver," an early history of the Academy. He was an active alumnus, for which the Academy created the Joseph M. Baker Jr. Lifetime Service Award. The award is presented in recognition of the member of the 50th Anniversary Homecoming Reunion Class who has provided lifelong leadership, service and dedication to his classmates possessing those traits of Joseph M. Baker Jr., Class of '47. He was an active churchman and current member of the St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Church in Annapolis. Also serving as a former Vestryman and Senior Warden of St. Charles the Martyr Anglican Church in Crownsville. He served four years on the Vestry of All Hallows' Episcopal Church, Davidsonville, and prior to that head of the Young Peoples' Group at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis. He served for a year as Chairman of the Churchmen's Association of Southern Maryland, a body representing Episcopal Churches in the five southern Maryland counties. Joe's memberships were extensive. In addition to those noted above a few additional included, but were not limited to: Washington Board of Trade; Washington Building Congress; Kiwanis Club; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
; Mason, Annapolis Lodge 89, 32 Degree , member since 1960; Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Washington, Orient of the District of Columbia 99; Almas Shriners, Washington, DC.; Almas Yacht Club, Washington, DC; National Associations Executive Club; United States Chamber of Commerce, Association Committee and Labor Relations Committee; The Diligent Dozen, co-founding member; Naval Academy Officers Club. Joe was also a member of every airline club that existed, including Pan American Clipper Club. Joe's hobbies, besides working, included scuba diving (NAUI certified), gardening and traveling, venturing to over 80 countries worldwide. In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his sisters, Katherine "Kat" Shulmister of Atlanta, GA, and Julia Pauline Stewart of Fairfax, VA. Joe is survived by his wife, Camilla Lacy Baker of Annapolis, and their daughter, Susan B. Kalergis and her husband, Jim, of New Market, along with their children Grayson and Harper. He is also survived by his first wife, Bernice Maupin Baker, of Rockwood, TN; and their four children, Joseph M. Baker, III and wife, Elaine, of Edgewater, Rebecca L. Baker of Odenton, and her son, Chase Burnett of St. Augustine, FL, Cynthia L. Baker of Odenton, Robert L. Baker and wife, Grace, of Great Mills, and their children Robbie and Josh. A Memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 16, followed by a Life Celebration at St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Church, which meets at: St Paul's Lutheran Church, 31 Rowe Blvd. (Rowe at Farragut), Annapolis, with the Rector, The Very Rev Dean Arcoraci. Memorial Contributions may be made to: The US Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation in memory of Joseph M. Baker Jr., Class of 1947. Please make your check payable to the USMMA Alumni Foundation Inc. (Tax ID 11-6037948) and mail to: PO Box 222011, Great Neck, NY 11022.