John Francis "Bunk" Baker
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ZANESVILLE: John Francis "Bunk" Baker, 83, of Zanesville, died 11:45PM Tuesday, July 30, 2013 peacefully, surrounded by family and many friends at his daughter's home. He was born Tuesday, April 29, 1930 in Zanesville, the son of George Baker and Agnes (Burkhard) Baker, John was the youngest of ten children.
John was a lifetime member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church and a member of the last graduating class of St. Nicholas High School. John proudly served his country as a veteran of the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He was owner/ operator of John Baker Television Repair. Prior to going to Television Repair Trade School, he was a foreman at the Zanesville American Match Company on Hall Avenue.
John loved his Zanesville Community. He served as Second Ward Republican Committeeman and was very involved in many local and state political campaigns. He enjoyed being campaign manager for many candidates vying for offices such as city council, judgeships, county commissioners, state representatives and state senators' seats. All by going "door-to-door" with his own style of greeting folks. John never met a stranger. He could always be found in the Republican Booth at the Zanesville Farmer's Market and the Muskingum County Fair.
John greatly enjoyed his civic service to his community by serving as a board member of Rambo Health Center, Zanesville Community Action Agency and The Muskingum County Conference & Welcome Center. He also spent precious time at the Muskingum County Center for Seniors, at the Sunrise Center, where he was a member of the Wii Bowling team. John was a staple at the Muskingum County Courthouse where he would regularly visit with his friends.
John was an absolute Notre Dame fan and an avid supporter of local sports including Rosecrans and Tri-Valley. For many years, he was the ticket taker, and later the "Ball-Guy" who served at both Bishop Rosecrans boys and girls basketball games. He was known as the "foul-ball retriever" at the yearly Zanesville Babe Ruth State Tournaments. He sponsored and served at many golf tournaments, having been an early Zanesville Country Club caddie. He also sponsored the "Big Buck" Deer Competition as well.
John was very rich in family and friends. Many can relate to how John would bring joy into their lives with just a "one-liner" or one of his wonderful stories of by-gone days. He loved everyone in their own unique way. The legacy John leaves is to go and live out your life, bringing forward a legacy of that joy, kindly touching the lives of all whom you meet.
John is survived by his ex-wife: Barbara (Heil) Baker, who never left his side throughout his illness, having been married for 47 years; three daughters: Jennifer (Baker) Westerheide, Jacqueline Baker and Julie (Baker) Dysinger all of Zanesville; one son: John F. & Roxie Baker of Mount Gilead; eleven grandchildren; three great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Friends may call from 2:00 to 4:00 & 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Friday, August 3, 2013 at The Hillis, Combs & Nestor Funeral Home, 935 Forest Avenue, Zanesville. A Crishtian prayer service will be held Friday at 7:45PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:30 AM Saturday at St. Nicholas Catholic Church with Fr. Martin J. Ralko as celebrant. Burial will follow with VFW Post 1058 conducting Full Military Honors. To leave a personal note of condolence or sign the online guestbook visit www.hilliscombsnestor.com.
Published in the Times Recorder on Aug. 1, 2013