OBITUARY

Wilbert Samuel Baker Jr.

February 7, 1935April 7, 2014

On Monday, April 7, 2014 in his infinite wisdom God Almighty, saw our beloved one tiring. Our God of compassion and mercy summoned His servant to come and be relieved of his earthly cares. WILBERT SAMUEL BAKER JR., son of the late Wilbert Samuel Baker Sr. and Myra Rasin Baker passed away in his home peacefully in his sleep. Wilbert Samuel Baker Jr. was born on February 7, 1935 in Newark, New Jersey. He was the oldest of six children of Wilbert Sr. and Myra Baker. No way out of Newark, he had 2 months of college before the money ran out and he enlisted in the US Air Force where he tested well and was trained in electronics. His first assignment was at Keesler AFB in Mississippi where he was trained in electronics. As he said “They sent me to Mississippi. I had to eat a lot of crap. That was back in the 50’s. I was the only black in the school. I did all those things. I ate all that crap because I knew you had to have an education to progress.”. After completing his schooling in Mississippi, he was assigned to Chanute AFB in Illinois where he was asked to cross train to become a drill instructor. After 2yrs of being a drill instructor, he went back to his electronics profession where he completed various tours around the world. In July of 1971, Wilbert was assigned to Luke AFB in Phoenix, Arizona where he decided to call it “home”. After obtaining Chief Master Sargent and 31yrs of military service, Wilbert retired in January of 1986. For those who knew Wilbert, retirement was never final, Wilbert went back to college, first getting his Associates from Glendale Community College in 1987 then getting his BA in 1989 and finally getting his Master’s in Education in 1995 from Arizona State University. He went on to become a six-grade teacher at one of the Valley’s poorest schools, Dunbar Elementary. Wilbert believed “Teachers mold lives” and wanted to give back to the community who really needed him. He went on to teach at Bethune Elementary and Capitol Elementary and after 16yrs he retired from teaching in 2005. He will be fondly remembered and leaves pleasant memories to enhance the lives of his loving and devoted wife of 53 yrs., Lucy Baker and 3 children; Rhonda and her husband Robert Ellison of Fort Washington, MD; Karl and his wife Gilma Baker of Spring, TX; and Michael and his wife Cindy Baker of Buckeye, AZ. Wilbert Daryl Baker of Newark, NJ; and Wilhelmina and her husband Robert Jordan of Atlanta, GA. Wilbert is also survived by 2 living sisters; Anita Duke of Union, NJ and Noreen Baker of Los Angeles, CA and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Wilbert’s life was not defined by his accomplishments but by the lives he touched. He will sorely be missed.

Guest Book Messages

Wilbert BakerII

Papa taught me what I know so I love him so he loves me so. He taught me how the snow can fall he loves me he loves us all. When I m in a tough situation he helped me with hard situation. I m so glad he is my Papa. Love Wilber Baker III

Micah Baker

My Grandfather was the best grandfather you could ask for. He was always there with me from the start and he always wanted me to get a education and go to college and be successful and he took us fun places that if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t even go. My grandfather was a good father figure if you don’t have a dad to look up to or talk to you can always talk to him. I went to him whenever I was confused he knew how to give the best answer that what he was good at. He was also funny I would give a good joke to cheer me up so I love my grandfather thank you for your service goodbye I’ll miss you

Cindi Baker

It is a privilege for me to be a part of the Bakers line, my sons are Bakers and my grandson will be as well. Wilber Baker Jr. was my father in law, he was also the Dad for me that taught me things an adult should know. He was a shining example of wisdom and courage as well as knowledge. We did not always see eye to eye but I knew I could count on him even when my pride got in the way. He is a true dad and he will be missed. Love you always

Jovaness

Watching you leaving was a difficult experience for me. Watching you get sick was even harder. But heaven couldn’t wait for you. You showed me love when I thought I had no one. I am happy and proud to say I am your granddaughter and I know that with time and patients and hard work comes success and you taught me that. I thank you for hanging on for as long as you did because I know you did it for all of us. So now as we lay you to rest, I will not say good bye but hello to my new guardian angel I love you Papa.

Kashifiva

I want papa to know I will always love him

Donta

My grandfather was a the definition of intelolegence to me. Thee pinnacle of what it meant to be a man. His legacy, the fraction of his life he let me live through his memories seem un real. However worth trying to emulate him at all cost no matter how hard or how long it may take. His life was hard, gruling, unfair and uncompromising never less his demine exemplified poise and success. As if failure is something he has never experienced on day in his life. He would always challenge me mentally, even idf it was to the smallest degree. Now that I am of age I realize the point he wanted to get across to me was to further my education. Never settle for average because we come from excellence. The amount of pride I feel to say Wilbert Baker was my grandfather was insurmountable. It gives me strength to live every day of my life even if it is a constant struggle because I am aware of the strength of my roots. He taught me stability not just verbally but literally showed me by action through time. Consequently I also learned through this what it means to be accountable and responsible. I wish I could say it is shorter list of things I didn’t learn from my grandfather. It is an exact opposite in that regard. His blood flow through my veins and his soul is aligned with my own. I am Wilbert Baker so is my father my family is an extension of one of the greatest person who ever lived that’s a real legacy I will be privileged to carry on for generations to come.

Lanissa Mcleod

Wilber Baker is one of the strongest men I meet. He is a great inspiration to my son Michael baker Jr. as well as a very loving kind and supportive towards me. I will always love and respect “The Chief”.

Dear Lucy & Family, It's been a privilege and blessing to have you as our neighbors and friends for the past few decades. We are so sorry for your loss! Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Bill will never be forgotten! May he rest in peace! Connie & Curt Crabtree & Family

To Lucy, Anita, Noreen and the entire Baker Family, my sincerest condolences on the loss of brother Bill. I will alsways have fond memories of our times we spent together, and pray that each of you enjoy a good laugh when you think of him. God bless you all.

Edd Edd Matthews, Hackensack, New Jersey

You will be missed Mr. Baker. Rest In Peace. Johnny Booze, Litchfield Park, Arizona

I love you Dad. Michael Baker, Buckeye, Arizona

"Our sincere condolences to Mrs. Lucy Baker and the entire family. Brother Baker was a beloved teacher by his students and staff members at Bethune School, Phoenix Elementary School District, AZ. His unabashed commentaries and attendance at an occasional lunch meeting will be fondly missed. May he rest in peace!" Dr. and Mrs. Earl N. Epps Dr. Earl N. Epps, Gilbert, Arizona

Mr. Baker was a great man and a great teacher. He helped me so much, I will never forget him. He loved his students and they loved him. Rest in Peace Mr Baker. Doreen Lyke, Hurley, New York

Our sincerest condolences to you Mama Lucy - Dad's since of humor will be missed, but the memories will last a lifetime. We love you. Richard, Pam, Cherise, and Ricky Pamela Baker, Lantana, Texas

God is the light and as you move to bask in his light let us all celebrate the life and love that you brought to us. Let us remember what a wonderful and loving person you are. I love you Uncle Wilbur you will be missed. Shanon Thomas, Bismark, North Dakota

Mr. Wilbert Samuel Baker was a great person and I am glad that my sons and I got the chance to meet and share a few moments with him. Please accept our most sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. The Baker family is in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless you all, Sincerely, Isabel, Esteban and Christian Olivo Isabel Olivo, Spring, Texas

Lucy, we are so sorry for your loss. Cousin Wilbur will be missed. We will be thinking of you during this difficult time. Love, ERIK AND DENISE HAGERMAN, AURORA, Colorado

May you move on to a brighter and more beautiful space. Karen Cole, Buckeye, Arizona

Services

  • Visitation Monday, April 14, 2014
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, April 15, 2014
REMEMBERING

Wilbert Samuel Baker Jr.

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Crystal Venegas Arroyo

February 21, 2015

Mr. Baker you will be missed.
I thank you for being there for me from 6th grade till the day I married.
Thank you for guiding me down the right path. You were there when I felt completely alone. I thought I was in love in 6th grade and you said "Crystal look at that boy.. you don't want none of that mess!" I remember everything about you and everything you taught me.
My children know all about you and all you have done for me. Thank you Mr. Baker. I love you!

Dion Lowe

February 12, 2015

A good man who willnever be forgotten,and forever loved.

Jim McNamara, CMSgt (Ret)

December 12, 2014

One of the sad things about a military career is that we lose touch with so many fine people we served with over the years. Bill sent me a note of congratulations in 1985 when I received my last promotion, we swapped Christmas cards ever since, and talked on the phone a couple of times. I knew him when we were stationed together at Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson in the late 1970's and early 1980's. For a while he was my supervisor and I'm sure his guidance was a positive force in my career.

We shared many a Johnny Walker telling stories and swapping lies. One of my favorites was one he told about being stationed in Ludlow, Vermont when he was often the first person of color ever seen but the locals and how they would try to touch him.

Lucy, please accept my most sincere, if somewhat belated condolences. Bill was my friend and I was saddened to learn of his passing.

Anita Duke

April 21, 2014

To Lucy,and family may Wilbert, R.I.P. He was very kind in many respects. He looked out for many people old and young. He will truly be missed. Family Keep your hand in Gods hands and he will direct your path.

Be Blessed

Sisters Anita and Noreen, Niece Kathy,
and Grand Niece Kendra

lavern Taylor

April 17, 2014

"Our prayers are with the Baker Family. We never had an opportunity to meet Mr. Baker formally, but we knew his daughter, Dr. Jordan, to his wife and all of the children, you have our deepest sympathy. May God bless and keep all of you.

Benjamin E. Mays High School

April Juarez

April 16, 2014

My sincerest condolences to the Baker family, to your wife, your children and grandchildren. No words could describe the gratitude I will always have for having met you. You were a great mentor and the best teacher I could have come across growing up. I carry your words of wisdom forever. You will always be remembered for all that you had to offer and for all that you did. Thank you for your humility, for your humor, for your strictness, for your honesty and above all thank you for changing my life for the better. I'll always miss you Mr. Baker. May the angels lead you in.

Meagan Langs previously White

April 15, 2014

Mr. Baker was a mentor to me in his last year teaching. I was a brand new teacher right out of ASU and he helped me teach in one of the most challenging schools. I will remember him all my life and he helped me in many ways. He is AWESOME and I will always be thankful that I could call him a friend.

April 15, 2014

Our sincerest condolences to the Baker Family. Mr. Baker was a great teacher and taught me so much, mean and strict and times, but taught me a valuable lesson! He will be missed by many. I would always go back at visit him at Bethune Elementary School, I could never forget :)
-Student from Bethune!

Herbert Baker

April 15, 2014

Lucy, sorry I could not there with you and the family. I'm happy to have seen him the week before he passed. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. He was very dear to me and I will miss him.
Love... Your cuz... Buddy Baker & family

April 15, 2014

It was my privilege and honor to have served with Bill in the USAF. I knew him well and cherished our very long friendship. My condolences to Lucy and the family.

William Braund MSgt USAF (Ret.)