Jack Baker, 81, a long-time Willows resident, died peacefully in his sleep at home on May 15, 2014.
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Born November 18, 1932 to John and Anna Baker of Willows, Jack attended local schools and graduated from Willows High School where he excelled in football, basketball, track and his favorite, baseball. Jacks' love of sports continued throughout his life. He enjoyed watching local high school sporting events especially the varied athletic endeavors of his grandchildren. During the past 20 years, Grandpa Jack was a well- known, devoted fan, regularly attending most games regardless of the venue location.
Jack entered college at UC Davis, joining Sigma Nu Fraternity but joined the United State Air Force in 1953 where he served as an Airman First Class stationed at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver. He shared many colorful stories of his world travels until his honorable discharge in 1955. Jack returned to Willows and began working for his family's farm and ranching operation, Baker Bros. Land & Stock Company. His first responsibilities were in running the sheep ranch West of Willows where his father nicknamed him "The Shepherd". He continued farming, primarily rice, in Artois with his brother for many years. Farming and the rhythm of life on the ranch were mainstays throughout Jack's life. In retirement, Jack's shared the bountiful harvest of his home garden with all.
Jack served on the Board of Directors of Farms Rice Co-Op, helped establish rice exports to Japan through his work with Pacific International Rice Mills (PIRMI) and was a chair officer of the Willows Order of Elks Lodge No. 1786.
In 1957 Jack married Carol Lynn Kelley of Orland. They moved to Chico in 1968 and raised their two daughters, Kelly and Kristin. Jack is fondly remembered by his daughters' friends as a fun and humorous Dad who was always a willing get- away driver for their preteen pranks.
On March 4 & 5, 1993, Jack married his life's partner, Patricia Knight, of Willows in Cabo San Lucas Mexico, starting a long happy marriage full of travel adventures, attending Oakland Raiders football games, and enjoying bird watching picnics. Their many Labrador dogs enjoyed 'tooling around' the ranch with Jack in his Jeep.
Jack's time in the Air Force created his desire to learn to fly. In the 1970s Jack earned his Pilot's license and attained his VFR and IFR certification. He owned several different planes during his life, including his favorite Cessna Turbo Centurion. Flying on cross country adventures for travel, fishing, and transporting his girls to and from college was a passion. He loved to fly his planes and was a skilled and thorough pilot.
Fly fishing, elk hunting, annual trips to Los Cabos Mexico and Kona Hawaii, "shooting the moon" during a spirited game of Hearts, cooking hearty weekend breakfasts at his cabin in Jonesville, family pheasant hunts on the ranch, attending family sporting and school events, filled Jack's life with terrific memories created with family and friends. Jack will be long remembered for his warmth, generosity, affable humor, his love of the outdoors, and his many life-long friendships.
Jack is survived by his wife Patricia, his daughters Kelly (Scott) Chalmers and Kristin (Keith)Tebo, sister Patricia (Ron) Ellico and brother Bill (Janet) Baker, Patricia's children Peter (Ann) Knight and Kim (Gary) Van Ree, grandchildren Kathryn and Ryan Ward, Hannah Tebo, Craig, Jace, Peter, and Drew Knight, and Hannah and Garrett Van Ree, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased in death by his parents and his sister, Josephine.
Graveside Services will be held at the Willows Cemetery, Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 10:00 am with a reception to celebrate Jack's life to follow at the Elk's Club in Willows.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a
Published in Glenn County Transcript from May 21 to May 28, 2014