Obituary: Rodney Baker, 76, of Victory Township

February 23, 2023

Rod Baker

Obituary: Rodney Baker, 76, of Victory Township

Rodney Ward Baker, 76, passed away on Monday, February 20, 2023, at home with his wife at his side.  He was born on March 24, 1946, to Marshall and Margaret (Burke) Baker in Ludington.  He attended school and graduated from Mason County Central High School in 1964.  He became employed immediately after graduation and ultimately was drafted into the US Army on May 10, 1966.  After completion of basic training, he was assigned to the Artillery Division and transferred to Germany during the Vietnam Crisis.  He was honorably discharged from the military on May 9, 1972, and returned to employment with General Telephone Company, and eventually retired having completed nearly 30 years of service.

Rod was an avid softball player in his younger years, playing on many teams and enjoying the game very much.  Of course, it was all business and many a pitcher trembled in his cleats when Bam-Bam stepped up to the plate.  The stories are endless of his walk to fame on the softball field.

Rod met his wife Paddy and, after a whirlwind courtship of 12 weeks, they were married on August 16, 1974.  He always said, “when you know, you know.”   Together, they enjoyed life for over 48 years.  Rod was a private, quiet, gentle man, who loved his family very much.  He would do anything for his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Rod was an active hunter and fisherman until his health began declining 18 years ago. He was a cancer survivor. He also dealt with diabetes and had just completed four years of dialysis.  Throughout all of this time, he never complained, just forged forward.

He was a member of the West Michigan Fair Association and served on the board of directors for over 25 years, currently as an executive director.   He was very much involved in bringing the life of the Mason County Fairgrounds to its current state and was very proud that the grounds are one of the most prestigious in the State of Michigan.

Rod is survived by his wife, Paddy; his children, Erin (Stuart) Sharp, Kelly (Albert) Baker Everette; grandchildren, Marcus Sides, McKenna (Jason) Timm, Addison (Kaden) Davis; his mother, Margaret Baker, brother, James (Alyson) Baker, and sister, Nancy Baker; sisters-in-law, Sheila (Jeff) Kraus, Peggy Lee (Clifford) Bowman; brother-in-law, Ron (Debi) Williams; nieces, nephews, and cousins; special friend Greg Meissner, who picked him up every Thursday for lunch and a leisurely ride; his card game buddies, who met every Wednesday afternoon and took such good care of him and brought him home. 

Rod was preceded in death by his father, Marshall Baker; son, Gregory John Sides; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Willard and Margaret Williams.

As per Rod’s wishes, no service will be held at this time, however, a Celebration of Life will be held in May to pay tribute to him.   Contributions in his honor may be directed to the Community Foundation for Mason County, Ludington Area Catholic School, or St. Jude’s Hospital for Children.

“Rest in peace, my Prince.”  No more pain or being uncomfortable, just rest.  Love you to the moon and back and will miss you more than you will ever know.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.oakgroveludington.com. 

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