Bradley R. Baker passed away at home on the evening of Monday, Nov. 22, 2010, after a five-month battle with lung disease. He was surrounded by his loving family.
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Although born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1945, Bradley grew up in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He graduated from Choctawhatchee High School in 1963, along with friend and rival marching band trumpeter, Helen Lindsey. Years later, through a cross-country romance, Bradley won the heart of Helen. In 1977, Bradley and Helen combined their respective children to make a bustling family of six and raised all of the children in Fort Walton Beach.
Bradley graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1966. Soon after he graduated he began working with his parents, Shirley M. and Robert A. Baker Jr., in their real estate and mortgage business, R.A. "Bob" Baker Realty, Inc. Because of his innate entrepreneurial spirit, it was not long before Bradley became an expert in the mortgage end of the business. Later, he transformed his parents' business into a mortgage banking company, ultimately collaborating with his wife, Helen Lindsey, to create Baker and Lindsey, Inc. Over the next decades, Baker and Lindsey flourished and became a cornerstone business of the Emerald Coast community. Bradley retired in 2003.
With a sharp analytical mind and an insatiable curiosity, Bradley was known by family and friends as an investigative thinker who enjoyed good conversations, especially those involving philosophical discourse. Within the business community, Bradley was valued for his knowledge as well as his unshakable ethics and compassionate leadership. He was a truly remarkable husband, father, grandfather, friend, human being. He will be sorely missed by many. Those who knew him will cherish having had the opportunity to have been in the presence of brilliant man with a deeply generous spirit.
Bradley's surviving family includes his wife, Helen Lindsey; his daughters, Dawn Hoffman (Don), Ginger Baker (Becky), and Cinnamon Baker (James); grandchildren, Rachell Moodie (Matt) and Benjamin Dean; and nephew, Jeff Lindsey; as well as his older brother, Robert A. Baker III (Rose); and numerous nieces and nephews. His parents as well as his son, Mac Baker, predeceased Bradley.
A memorial service celebrating Bradley's life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Montgomery at 1 p.m. CST on Saturday, Dec. 4. A gathering of family and friends will immediately follow in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either of the following: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Montgomery located at 2810 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL, 36109, www.uumontgomery.org, or Hospice of Montgomery located at 1111 Holloway Park, Montgomery, AL, 36117, www.hospiceofmontgomery.org.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29, 2010