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1931 Lyle 2021

Lyle D Baker

October 2, 1931 — August 17, 2021

Lyle was born on October 2, 1931, in Colbert, Washington, on the family farm, to John and Signa Baker. The third of five children, he lived his entire life in the Colbert community, graduating from Mead High School in 1949. Where he lettered in basketball, football, and boxing along with membership in FFA and Honor Society, while serving as Class President. His first job, other than the farm, was for W.H. Ziegler, at Zieglers Mill on E. 1903 Francis Street in Spokane. He worked there two summers, working at the same time as a logger for his uncle, Howard Wood. In 1951, he was hired at the Kaiser Mead Aluminum plant, working in the metal service department. In 1955, four years after meeting her at a school dance, Lyle married Jean Day; Dad spent a year building them a modest home in Mead. They had two daughters. In 1962, they purchased the Bergstreser farm in Colbert, where Dad had walked years before to get to grade school. They happily lived there the rest of their lives. Dad continued working at Kaiser for 38 years, never missing a day of work. He was a full-time farmer as well, raising cattle and sheep. His hobby was work: there was always a fence to fix, fire wood to chop, and a myriad of ongoing farm chores. After retiring from Kaiser, he and his brothers continued to run the family farm as well as their own farms; to many, they were known as The Legends of Colbert. At age 87, he retired a second time; Mom had convinced him to slow down and give his body a rest; also, he and his brothers decided that the next generation should learn how good hard work benefits the soul. Amazingly, until this final retirement, we had never seen him sit and watch TV. From June 2020 through March 2021, when Mom battled pancreatic cancer, Dad was a devoted caregiver. It was lovely to watch him care for her—she, who for 65 years of marriage, had always been there to make sure he had a meal. Dad put on a brave face after her passing, but he missed her, and her constant unfiltered advice. He was, unquestionably, our superhero--he had many superhero qualities. And he would give you the shirt off his back and ask nothing in return. Family members describe him as strong, kind, hard-working, the rock of the family, a leader, humble, a role model, having a quiet strength, a life mentor, and many other words that reflect a life of integrity. And-- John Wayne handsome. His daughters always thought he looked like a young Jan Michael Vincent. Dad’s Senior quote was: “Silent is true wisdom’s best reply! , he lived by it. He was preceded in death by his brother Louis, father John, mother Signa, and wife Jean. He is survived by his daughters Gina (Rick) Osterback and Sonia (Steve) Van de Brake, older brother Melvin Baker, younger sister Alene Congelton, youngest brother John (Jack) Baker, brother-in-law Joe (Carol) Day, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Without their support this would have been a much more difficult journey. We were also immensely blessed to have a compassionate team that cared for Dad and us equally: A tremendous thank-you to the Sacred Heart emergency room medical staff, the ICU, and the 9th floor medical team. Also, heartfelt thanks to Dr. Murphy, Dr. Ball, Dr. Yuell, ICU Nurse Katie, Palliative Care Nurses Katie, Rachael, Svetlana, Cindy, Jenny, and their support team. There will be a graveside service on Saturday, August 28, at 11:00 at Peone Cemetery, 12701 N. Bruce Road, Mead. All are invited.
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