May 11, 1942 - May 2, 2012
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BREMEN - On May 2, 2013, the world lost a great man. Richard Eugene Baker of Bremen, Indiana, lost his fight with Addison's disease, Parkinson's disease and Dementia. He was 70 years old. A lifelong farmer, Richard had a quick wit, smart business sense and a sense of humor that was open to anyone. He was always there to lend a hand when needed and give great advice if asked. Richard began his life on May 11, 1942, born to Russell and Charlotte (Byler) Baker. He was the first of four children, preceded in death by his brother Donald, his sister Janice, and his parents. His brother Dean still survives. Richard grew up in Bremen, causing trouble with his friends, floating rafts down the Yellow River and supposedly tying logs to bumpers of cars to watch them drive away. While in high school, he met his high school sweetheart, Karen L. Davis, who he later married on September 22, 1962. She still survives. Richard farmed his and Karen's farm while also working for his father. In 1971, Richard and Karen adopted a baby girl, Kristen. In 1970, he was diagnosed with Addison's disease by Dr. Otis Bowen, and in 1994, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. His "never quit, never give up" attitude followed him all of his life. His service to his family, Marshall County and the State of Indiana was beyond measure. In 1988, he received the prestigious "Sagamore of the Wabash" award, given to him by the State of Indiana and Gov. Orr for his contributions to the Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation. He was a leader in finding ways to preserve farmland and was one of the first to try "No Till" and bean drilling. He was featured in the magazine "Successful Farming" for this effort. Besides farming, Richard loved working with his registered forest in Bremen and tending to his Angus cattle herd. Having both for many years, these became a staple in his life. Richard is also well known for his hobbies. He collected milk bottles, toy tractors, Schlosser Dairy memorabilia and Farmall tractors. He could frequently be seen at auctions trying to buy one of these items for his collection. He will be missed. Richard's surviving family members include his wife Karen; daughter, Kristen E. (Josh) Walker (Baker); seven grandchildren; two great-grandsons; his brother Dean Baker; and various extended family members he called his children and grandchildren. A viewing will be held at Mishler Funeral Home in Bremen on Monday, May 6, 2013 from 3-7 PM. Funeral services will be held at the Riverside Church of Bremen on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM. Graveside services to follow. Contributions may be made to the Parkinson's Disease Research Foundation (in care of Rush Presbyterian Hospital of Chicago) or the Riverside Church. The Mishler Funeral Home in Bremen is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.mishlerfuneralhomes.com.
Published in South Bend Tribune on May 4, 2013