Baker, Ross, 88, a lifetime resident of Peabody, Kansas, died Jan. 28, 2014, at the Newton Medical Center. Born July 28, 1925, in Newton, Kansas, he was the third son of Paul and Vivien Baker of Peabody. Ross was raised in Peabody and graduated from Peabody High School in 1943. He attended the University of Kansas for one semester before he was drafted into the U.S. Army
during World War II
. He was stationed at Ft. Walters, Texas, and then shipped to Great Britain in preparation for the allied invasion of Western Europe. He served as a combat infantryman in France, Belgium and Germany and was a 19-year-old veteran of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. After the war, Ross returned to KU and studied Business Administration. He joined the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, a legacy he shared with his father and two sons, which he valued for his entire life. Ross returned to Peabody and joined his father in the family's Peabody Hardware and Lumber Company. He married Rosalee Baskins, of Peabody, on October 14, 1951, at the Peabody United Methodist Church. They built a home in Peabody and later acquired the Prescott house on Sycamore Street, where they raised their three children and lived for over 30 years. In 1964, Ross returned to KU to finish his degree in Business Administration. In the early 1970's, he and his father sold their hardware business. He then became the Administrator of the Peabody Memorial Nursing Home, where he looked after the care of many of Peabody's elder citizens until his retirement in the early 1980's. Ross was very active in the Peabody Community throughout his life. He served as city councilman and was a volunteer fireman
. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, the Peabody and Marion County Historical Societies, American Legion and the Golf Club. He also was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he served on the church board and was a long time Sunday school teacher. His baritone voice was always a beautiful note in the Presbyterian Church choir. He was later a member of the Methodist Church. He was a gracious host and enjoyed playing bridge and social activities with his family and his many friends. He loved collecting antiques, was a creative gardener, an excellent amateur chef and was an avid KU sports fan. He enjoyed watching sporting events of all kinds. His engaging sense of humor made him a good companion and fun to be with. He cared about everyone he met and treated everyone he knew like an old friend. Ross was very close to his entire family. He had extraordinary knowledge of his family history and the history of Peabody. He shared this knowledge in a very personal way. He maintained close lifelong relationships with his Potter and Heath cousins. He loved and was proud of his family. Ross was truly a special gentleman and we have lost a treasured friend. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosalee, parents, Paul and Vivien Baker, sister Carol Foote, and brothers Heath, Hoyt and Paul, Jr. He is survived by three children; sons Steve Baker and wife Karen of Houston, Texas, Scott Baker and wife Katherine, also of Houston and daughter Ann Robinson and husband Scott of Wichita. He is also survived by seven grandchildren; Sarah Hebert and husband Carl of Wichita, Adam Robinson of Washington, D.C., Katie Thurman and husband Tyler of Los Angeles, California, Hanna Baker of San Francisco, California, Erin McKay and husband Nate of San Antonio, Texas, Colin Baker of Austin, Texas and Lindsey Baker, also of Austin. Also surviving him are two great-grandchildren; Grace and Ethan Hebert of Wichita. Memorial Service 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Methodist Church in Peabody. Interment will take place at Prairie Lawn Cemetery in Peabody. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Peabody Historical Society, 1556 59th St., Peabody, KS 66866 and the Peabody Community Foundation, c/o Peabody State Bank, 210 N. Walnut, Peabody, KS 66866. Share condolences at www.CozineMemorial.com
. Services by Broadway Mortuary.