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Roland Charles Baker


1938 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Roland Charles Baker Obituary
August 12, 1938 - September 29, 2015 August 12, 1938 - September 29, 2015 Roland Charles Baker died unexpectedly at his home in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on September 29, 2015. Mr. Baker, son of William T. and Ruth Carrington Baker, was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended St. Anselm School until age 13, when his family relocated to Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Fremont High School and the University of California at Los Angeles, and received a Master's in Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California. Mr. Baker also served in the reserve of the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Baker had a long and distinguished career in the life insurance and related financial services industries. He began his career at Beneficial Standard Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles, rising to positions of senior vice president with responsibility for internal operations, and director. At Colonial Penn Group, Mr. Baker served as executive vice president, and concurrently as executive vice president and director of Colonial Penn Insurance, Colonial Penn Franklin Insurance, and Colonial Penn Life Insurance Companies. He served as chairman, president, and CEO of the Signature Group in Schaumburg, Illinois, a subsidiary of the Montgomery Ward Company specializing in direct response marketing of personal insurance and other financial services. In addition, Mr. Baker was chairman and CEO of Old American Insurance Company, a life and health insurer. He was the founder and CEO of Baker, Rakich, Shipley & Politzer, consultants to the financial services industry. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Baker served as CEO of First Penn Pacific Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Lincoln Financial Group, in Oakbrook Terrace and Schaumburg, Illinois. Mr. Baker held board positions with Allstate Strategic Retirement Funds, Henderson Global Funds, North American Company for Life & Health, Sammons Financial Group, Mutual Assurance Company, Ceres Group, Inc. and Quanta Capital Holdings, Ltd.. He was a former trustee of the American College of Life Insurance (ACLI), National Association of Independent Insurers, LOMA, and the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters. Throughout his life he proudly maintained his California certified public accountant license. He was a Chartered Life Underwriter and a Fellow of the Life Insurance Management Institute. Mr. Baker approached his business career with passion and purpose, and developed many close and loyal friendships through his work. Mr. Baker was a member of the board of the Court Theater at the University of Chicago. Throughout the years, he provided significant support and guidance as a board member of numerous other organizations, including the Challenger Boys & Girls Club (Los Angeles), of which he was a founder, United Way of Chicago, Chicago Youth Centers, and the Evans Scholarship Foundation. Mr. Baker is survived by his wife, Helen Norris Baker, as well as children, Scott Carrington Baker, Stephen Christopher Baker, and Stefanie Celeste Baker Rome (Kevin), stepson Dustin J. Burke (Rebecca), stepdaughter Colleen K. Walston (John), brother, William A. Baker (Pearl), grandchildren Kevin D. Rome III, Kendel Alyse Carrington Rome, Burke S. Walston, Elliot A. Walston, and Henry J. Burke, niece Arlyce Baker Chandler (Robert), nephew William Baker, Jr. and great niece Alexa Brianne Chandler. He was previously married to Addie Scott Baker. Mr. Baker was enormously proud of his family, and enjoyed family gatherings and celebrations. Mr. Baker enjoyed his residences over the years in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Villanova, Bryn Mawr and Ardmore Pennsylvania, Lake Bluff and Chicago, Illinois, and Fisher Island, Florida. He was a longtime member of Beverly Country Club in Chicago, where he spent many happy days on the golf course with good friends. In retirement, he made good friends in Spanish classes at the Instituto Cervantes and in the Hyde Park neighborhood where he and Helen lived for seventeen years before their recent relocation to Hilton Head Island. He enjoyed blues and classic jazz music, and the occasional good cigar and glass of Scotch whiskey. Memorial services will be held at a later date. The Island Funeral Home and Crematory. theislandfuneralhome.com
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 9, 2015
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