William Presley "Bill" Baker

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William 'Bill ' Baker MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - William Presley "Bill" Baker, 95, of Myrtle Beach, formerly of Salisbury, N.C., died Thursday, April 13, 2006, at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center following a serious illness of two months. Mr. Baker was born Feb. 22, 1911, in Mecklenburg County, N.C., to Lawrence Eugene and Iva Davenport Baker. He graduated from Salisbury 's Boyden High School, where he was active in sports, and was an outstanding baseball catcher. He played semi-pro baseball in Rowan County before being signed to a pro contract. Mr. Baker was a catcher on the 1940 World Series-winning Cincinnati Reds National League Team. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and returned to professional baseball following the war. He retired as an active player in the major leagues in 1949. Following this, he began another major league baseball career as an umpire, retiring in 1957. He returned to Salisbury and later moved to Granite Quarry, where he was active in the community. He was a member of the Civitan Club and the Livengood-Peeler-Wood American Legion Post 448, which he served as Commander. He was elected to the Board of Alderman in Granite Quarry and was a member of Unity Presbyterian Church in Woodleaf. Mr. Baker was a key backer of the American Legion baseball program in Rowan County and was inducted into the North Carolina American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1975. He was employed with Raney Motor Co. and later with Aaron Chevrolet Co. as a salesman for 15 year, retiring in 1973. Mr. Baker was married to the former Valdois Foster in November 1937. She died July 21, 1989. He was predeceased by his six siblings: Lois Baker Campbell, Lorene Baker Griswold, Anne Baker Simmerson, Margaret Baker Wymann, Doris Baker Nichols and Marshall Henderson Baker. He is survived by daughter Susan V. Proffitt of Myrtle Beach; sons William B. Baker and wife Sybil of Salisbury and Stanley F. Baker and wife Linda of Little River, S.C.; grandchildren Scott Baker, Waxhaw, N.C., Todd Baker, Little River, Tiffinee Proffitt Newman, Moncks Corner, S.C.; Elizabeth Baker Rivers, Cary, N.C.; and four great-grandchildren. Visitation and Service : The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. Saturday at Summersett Funeral Home with the service at 11 a.m. in Summersett Memorial Chapel. The Rev. Dr. Randal V. Kirby, associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Salisbury, will officiate. Burial will follow at Unity Presbyterian Church cemetery in Woodleaf. Memorials : Rowan County American Legion Baseball, P.O. Box 1361, Salisbury, NC 28145.
Funeral Home
Summersett Funeral Home, Inc. & Cremation Center - Salisbury
1315 West Innes Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
(704) 633-2111
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Published in Salisbury Post on Apr. 14, 2006
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