Mass of Christian Burial
Obituary of Richard Dean Baker
Richard Dean “Dick” Baker, age 88, was placed in the loving hands of our Lord by his children on Saturday, April 06, 2019, at the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home.
Born in New Sharon, Iowa, on January 22, 1931, Dick was the son of the late Paul and Helen (nee Brower) Baker. Following the divorce of his parents when he was just three years old, Dick was raised by a strong, single mother and a host of aunts and uncles. Dick enlisted in the United States Marines following high school, and courageously served in Korea as part of an explosive ordinance disposal team. Following his service, Dick settled in Joliet as part of the Marines Reserve Unit. In 1953, Dick met the love of his life, the late Avril “Babe” Baker. After his conversion to Catholicism, Dick and Babe were married at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus on October 9, 1954. They had celebrated fifty-six years of marriage at the time of Babe’s passing in 2011. Forever one, it has been Dick’s strong desire to “get home to Mother” in recent months.
In addition to being a devoted husband and loving and committed Dad and Papa, Dick was a man of consummate hospitality and service. For years, Dick and Babe assembled the Murphy Acres Munchkins for backyard Fourth of July and Labor Day celebrations that were joy filled gatherings for many dear friends. Such celebrations were annual affairs for their friends from Church as well.
Dick was involved in the lives of his four sons as a Cub Scout and Indian Guide Leader, Little League Coach, Band Parent, and Jubilation Lounge Chairperson. He served his Catholic Church community as a Parish Council President, Lector, Pastoral Care Minister to the Homebound, Renew Group Host and Leader, and member of Fishers of Men. Dick was also a past volunteer with Joliet Area Community Hospice.
Dick is survived by three devoted sons, Mark (Denise) Baker of Joliet, Fr. Brad Baker of Naperville, and Todd (the late Kim) Baker of Joliet, and a daughter-in-law, Beth Baker of San Diego, CA. He was “Papa” to three grandchildren, Richard (Ashlie) Baker of Alexandria, Louisiana, and Bryan and Brianna Baker of Joliet.
Dick was preceded in death by his oldest son, Greg, in 1986, and his brother, Chuck.
The family would like to express our gratitude to Nora and Sandy for their care of our Dad for nearly five years. We also are so grateful for the nurses, aides, and volunteers of the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home for their attentive and loving care of our Dad.
Visitation for Richard “Dick” Baker will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, from 4:30 until 7:00 p.m., at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black at Essington Rds., Joliet. Funeral Services Thursday at 10:45 a.m. from the funeral home chapel to the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, 604 N. Raynor Ave., Joliet, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of Dick are encouraged to Joliet Area Community Hospice or the Cathedral of St. Raymond. For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com
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