John A. "Jack" BAKER
BAKER - John A. "Jack" Age 79, in Sarasota, FL. February 3, 1936 - May 27, 2015, of Amherst, NY and Sarasota, FL. A professor of physical education and exercise science at the University at Buffalo Department of Physical Therapy and Exercise Science for more than 20 years and an active UB and community volunteer. Born in Rochester, NY, Jack received his Bachelor of Science degree from Brockport State College in 1958 and his Master of Science degree from the University of Colorado in 1963, where he met his wife of 51 years, Leila A. (Reese). From 1963-1965, he was an instructor at the University of Portland, OR, and later earned his doctorate from Arizona State University in 1967. He was assistant professor at Murray State University, KY from 1967 - 1974, serving as President of the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in 1972. Jack joined the University at Buffalo Department of Physical Education in 1974 as Associate Professor. During his 21 years at UB, he served as Chairman of the Department of Physical Education from 1974-1977, which later evolved into the Department of Physical Therapy and Exercise Science. Jack also founded and directed the UB Faculty/Staff Health-Related Fitness Program. Following his retirement in 1995, Jack was an active member of the UB Emeritus Center and Retired Employee Volunteers-University Program (REV-UP) and also volunteered many years for The Food Shuttle of Western New York and the Charitable Giving Committee at St. Christopher's Church. Throughout his career, Jack coached football, basketball, and swimming, was head baseball coach at the University of Portland and coach and board member of the New York State West Youth Soccer Association. He was an assistant Boy Scout leader in the Greater Niagara Frontier Council and held many leadership positions in THE WILLOW RIDGE CIVIC ASSOCIATION. Jack climbed 35 state highpoints and served on the board of the National Highpointers Club. In his retirement, Jack and Lee spent many weeks in their Sarasota home, enjoying cycling, tennis and kayaking. Jack's summers were spent in Buffalo, crewing with friends in the Spinnaker division of the Wilson Harbor Yacht Racing Association. For 40 years, Jack was a member of the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYS AHPERD). At the Western Zone level he served as President (1979) and Conference Manager. At the State level, he served as Treasurer for 13 years, President from 2001- 2002, Retiree Section President from 2012-2013, Editor of the NYS AHPERD Journal, President of the Higher Education and Research Section, and member of the Conference Site Selection Committee. Jack presented workshops for AHPERD at zone, state, district and national levels. His various honors within NYS AHPERD include the Distinguished Service Award, the Council for Physical Education Service Award, the Higher Education Section Service Award and the Higher Education and Research Section Service Award. Most recently, Jack was awarded the Brockport Alumni Outstanding Service Award. Surviving in addition to his wife are two children Dr. Amy M. (David) Price of Cambridge, England and Lt. Cmdr. Erik R. (Amy) Baker, USN of Kailua, HI, seven grandchildren, brother Donald (Lynn), sister Lois Schafer, nieces and nephews. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Sarasota on June 13, 2015 with burial in Mary's Garden. A Memorial Mass will be held this summer at St. Christopher Catholic Church, Tonawanda. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the NYS AHPERD Foundation, 77 N. Ann Street, Little Falls, NY 13365 or The College at Brockport Foundation, Physical Education Lecture Series, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, NY 14420.

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Published by Buffalo News on Jun. 7, 2015.
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15 Entries
Lee and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Jack was a friend and mentor to me for many years and he always had my back. He gave me opportunities to hone in on my skills and take on greater responsibilities. We shared many laughs hanging out together at the conference with friends we would see once a year. His impact on my life will never be forgotten. God Bless you Jack. I will miss you but will treasure the years we spent together.
Cathy Houston-Wilson
June 11, 2015
Deepest sympathy to the entire family. Jack was a bright light to us all and will be sorely missed.
Kathleen Gurak
June 10, 2015
My deepest sympathy to Jack's family. I was lucky to be part of his NYS AHPERD family and will miss him deeply. I will treasure the memories we shared at Minnowbrook. RIP Jack
Chris Wert
June 9, 2015
Lee, Erik and Amy,
It was with deep regret that I saw the passing of Jack. It has been 25 years since we all were caught up in the Sweet Home experience with our kids. I also had great experiences with Jack at UB for a short time when I taught there in the ED department. Jack was an energetic, resourceful and fun guy to be with. Erik and my son Dave were classmates in the era when SH was a sports powerhouse and academic volcano.
I know you all have wonderful memories and that will soften the hurt and pain of his passing. I wish you all well as you adjust to Jack looking down as your lives continue to unfold. May the spirit of SH, UB and all those he touched comfort you in these trying times.
glen mcclary
glen mcclary
June 9, 2015
I have fond memories of Professor Baker when attending UB for my B.S. whike he kept us in our toes in class--I always felt he truly cared about how I did and when I saw him over the years at UB games, he always stopped to say hi to me and my children and ask me what I was up to in my life. Very sad to hear of his passing.
Laura Barnum
June 9, 2015
rest Jack, I enjoyed working with you at NYSAHPERD
Gil Callan
June 8, 2015
June 8, 2015
Jack was a wonderful, upbeat, and caring person. He was a successful alumni of The College at Brockport, and he was devoted to NYSAHPERD. He made me feel welcome my first day at the conference in 1995. he will surely be missed. We are so sorry for your loss.
June 8, 2015
Lee ,
It was an honor knowing Jack. I remember, fondly, our conversations at the Radens' parties. My deepest sympathies are with you, Amy, and Erik in your time of grief. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and your family.
Carl Hoffman
June 8, 2015
"Some people come into our lives,
leave footprints on our hearts,
and we are never the same." Jack you will truly be missed but will live on in our hearts forever.
Teresa Price
June 8, 2015
Jack was a true inspiration to all of us at NYS AHPERD. My prayers are with you and your family. Christina Buschmann
June 8, 2015
Spent some time with Jack at the recent class reunion. Thoughts and prayers from Dick and Pam Tolster.
June 8, 2015
so sorry to read of Jacks passing. we saw each other at the 2014 class reunion, up in new york. may he rest in peace with our Lord. Ralph Ruoff, Sarasota, Fl.
June 7, 2015
Lee, I am so sorry......
Karin Brady
June 7, 2015
We were very sorry to hear from Ralph about Jack. Lou Anne and I were both classmates of Jack at Brockport High School. Our prayers are with you and the family and we will remember the last class reunion.

Jack and Lou Anne Wadhams
Jack and Lou Anne Wadhams
June 7, 2015
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