OWEN CHARLES BAKER "O.C." Col., USMC (Ret.)
Of Fairfax, Virginia, died January 23, 2018 at Fairfax Hospital with family members by his side. Born in Breckenridge, MN in 1932 and attended school in So. St. Paul. He enlisted in the Navy and received a Fleet Appointment to the United States Naval Academy, graduating with distinction in 1957 as a Marine Second lieutenant. His lifelong dream of flying was realized after getting his wings of gold from Pensacola. He was able to follow that dream for the next 60 years through flying to defend his country and as a hobby with good friends before and after retirement. He married Barbara Jean Wash in 1958 and they spent the next 29 years raising their daughters in various military posts and communities. Owen is survived by his wife of 59 years, their two daughters, Claudia Schlagheck (James) and Janet Smith (Patrick); four grandchildren, Joseph (SJ) and Aaron Schlagheck and Alexandra and Coriston Smith. He was preceded in death by daughter, Ann Douglas Baker. Barbara's favorite tour of duty was the Monterey Peninsula, where Owen earned a Masters Degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School. He served his country with distinction, most notably in Vietnam, but it was tough to get him to talk about those accomplishments. His various service medals included the Navy Unit Commendation, Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and Gold Star and 32 Air Medals. After retirement, he worked several defense and civilian jobs. After complete retirement, he was active in the Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 186 where the friendships and expertise helped him realize his dream of building and flying his own plane. He will be forever remembered for his love of family (especially babies), patriotism, and passion for the skies. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family suggests the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation - 909 N Washington St., Suite 400, Alexandria, Virginia or a charity of your choice
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Published by The Washington Post on Jan. 28, 2018.