April 23, 1956 – September 11, 2021
Linvel Baker, a long-time resident of Marble Falls, Texas passed away on Saturday, September 11, 2021 on the beautiful Rampart Ranch property in Rowden, Texas.
He was born Kenneth Linvel Baker on April 23, 1956 in Kerrville, Texas to Ollie Ann (Rippy) and the late Kenny Baker.
Linvel was the oldest of four, raised on the family farm in Smithwick. While in High School, Linvel displayed his varied interests as he proved a leader on the football field, as President of the FFA, and a representative at Boys State.
After losing his baby brother, Leslie, to Hodgkin's Disease, Linvel went on a search to find out who God truly is. With guidance and wisdom from Nelson Lewis and Truman Stinson, Linvel went to the Sunset School of Preaching and found what he was looking for. He developed an even deeper faith and conviction in God, which would shape his life and impact hundreds of others.
After Sunset, Linvel continued with two years at Harding University and completed his Bachelor in Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University in 1990. He later went on to receive his Master of Theology degree from the Austin Graduate School of Theology. Linvel had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, truth, and wisdom. He never felt as though he had “arrived,” but constantly welcomed debate, curiosity, and challenge. Through this, Linvel developed a deep love and compassion for people, based out of the reality of God’s word. He deeply wanted people to understand the truth and intentionally use their mind and wisdom, instead of the fleeting emotions that come and go.
In 1980, he met Shirley Davis and knew immediately he had to spend his life with her. They married later that year in a civil ceremony in Goldthwaite,Texas followed by a large celebration with their family and friends. Linvel and Shirley lived in several places including Brownwood, San Angelo, Bremond, Grand Prairie, Bertram, and Colorado before they settled in Smithwick,Texas.
Linvel faithfully preached the word for 44 years, spending the last 32 at the Smithwick Church of Christ from which he retired in December 2020.
Linvel loved sharing his passions with his children and grandchildren, especially his deep love of the land and hunting. He spent many years raising livestock, playing chess, studying history, philosophy, Greek, and acupuncture. In later years, Linvel was an avid primitive archer. He most recently had developed an excitement and interest in Permaculture and had big plans for the Rampart Ranch. Rampart means a place of safety and refuge, as mentioned in Psalm 91, and Linvel had set his eyes to create a space that was just that. The more he worked the land, the more he loved it.
Also known as Daddy, Uncle, and most often, PaPa—he was loved by many. One of his best qualities was his ability to connect with people. He never met a stranger, and always had a great story and laugh to share. Through the years, he made more friends than you can count.
Linvel was preceded in death by his father Watt Kenneth Baker and his brother, Leslie Baker.
He is survived by Shirley, his loving wife of almost 41 years; three children, Whitney Goble and her husband, Andis of Bertram; Kaleb Baker of Marble Falls; Lauren Hopkins and her husband Joey of Midland; and 7 grandchildren, Angela, Kate, Makenzy, Makayla and Paxton Goble, Baker and Bennett Hopkins, his mother, Ollie Ann (Rippy) Baker; His brother, Lauris Baker and his wife Cheryl and their family and also his sister, Ann.
Visitation will be Friday, September 24th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Smithwick Church of Christ. Funeral service will be on Saturday, September 25th at 10 am at the Marble Falls Church of Christ, with burial to follow at Smithwick Cemetery.
Memorials may be made in Linvel’s memory to the Georgetown Church of Christ, Attn: Missions, 1525 University Ave. Georgetown, TX 78628, Memo: Thessaloniki.
Georgetown Church of Christ-Attn: Missions-Thessaloniki
1525 University Ave., Georgetown, TX 78628
Friday, September 24, 2021
Saturday, September 25, 2021
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Dave and Rita Cross
October 14, 2021
Linvel Baker was our minister for many years when we lived in Vista del Rio near the Smithwick Church of Christ. We have fond memories of Linvel and his family. Dave so enjoyed his hunting trips with Linvel and his friends. We held a few Bible studies in our home.
We always felt that Linvel was a strong man of God and brought us all together on Sundays to share our love for our Father.
We send our sincere sympathy to Shirley, Ollie Ann, Lauris and Linvel's other close family members. We know he will be missed by so many but is enjoying eternal live with God in Heaven.
September 27, 2021
I did not know Linvel very long just for about a year or so. Linvel always had a good story to tell when we talked and a great laugh. I know he enjoyed working on his and Ms. Shirley's property in Rowden. Linvel will be missed by all that knew him he was a good man and a good friend.
September 25, 2021
Linvel was always a vital part of our family. We got to know his family when my brother Tommy was married to his aunt Laura. We shared many wonderful meals and church functions over the year. My father Marvin Dodd adored Linvel and my Mother “Bill Dodd” thought of him as one of her own. When our son Michael Dodd Oldaker died he was there immediately to comfort us an he helped me to know that my son was in heaven. We will always love Linvel and his family.
September 24, 2021
We remember when Linvel was born. We were not fortunate enough to be close to see him grow up. Ollie Ann , our cousin kept in touch and it was always evident how proud of him she was. He must have been a great guy, wish we could have known him better. I know all will miss him but remember he is with Jesus. We want to extend our sympathy, love and prayers to all the family. The Keith family and the Stevens family.
September 24, 2021
Linvel was for sure a "salt of the earth" man. He always spoke the truth and was a faithful man of God. Even in the worst circumstances, such as memorial services, Linvel's messages would bring comfort and peace to your heart. There is no doubt, he is smiling from ear to ear, like he always did, and rejoicing in heaven with those who went before him, and with the good Lord.
Special prayers of peace for all of the family.
Sharon Goodwin Schwartz
Robin Haggard Ritchie
September 23, 2021
I met Linvle in the early 1970s. He and his mom & dad were very special friends of my parents that we met through Ray Crass ( & the late Martin and Lorena). We shared a friendship through the love of hunting ( deer & coon), singing , and Christ. We attended Hensel Memorial Foundation School of Music (Singing School) together for several years. He loved my mom ( Big Momma) and my Daddy. His kind heart, his friendly disposition, his sweet smile was always welcomed in our family.
Our lives were miles apart, but he has ALWAYS had a special and treasured place of love in my heart. I will continue to always carry him in my memories and remember him with love. RIP dear one.
Ollie Ann, Lauris, and Sissy- and beloved family of Linvle Baker, you are in my prayers and have my most sincere condolences.
September 22, 2021
It has been only 7years - but we feel as if we have always belonged at Smithwick Church! Uncle Dick, on a stretcher made it difficult to get anywhere fast and we learned of the Church of Christ
across the street!
Linvel’s sermon was on the importance of the Old Testament! And that was our ticket to the PREACHER WHO WANTED TO LEARN and TEACH!
What a combination! He led, listened, he loved his wife as a prince to his princess, he stayed to give a hug or a hand.
There was nothing he didn’t want to tackle - and Shirley would smile with confidence. So I thought of all I learned from Linvel and with a look toward heaven….what I thought he would say to us all….
Everything has a season
And I have had mine.
I want you all to know:
I am just FINE!
I am enjoying every Value
I ever had to choose
And I want you to know: I WIN!
Even though I know you loose.
So never think a moment
That I should have had more days…
I lived at least 100 years of adventures
in Many ways.
Learning was my passion…loving Shirley and my family too…
But moving on to Heaven
Doesn’t mean that I’ve left you!
Whenever you have questions
And seek to know the way…
My voice you’ll hear within your head…
Take HIS WORD and Pray.
And after every instance
You will see that - you have won!
As I stand with Jesus in Heaven
I say with Him… well done.
September 22, 2021
I didn’t know Linvel but knew his mom, Ollie Ann, and his Aunt Laura, my dear friend, and have heard stories about what a wonderful person he was. I’m so sorry he’s no longer on earth with us but know he’s happy to be with our Lord. 🙏
September 22, 2021
Randolph and Doreen Prentice of St. Kitts had the privilege of meeting with Lauris and Cheryl Baker when they visited the island sent by the Smith Wick church of Christ under the eldership of Tom Sponts an Elder also at the St. Kitts Branch
C of C.
Some time later down we had the joy of returning the visit to Texas for Tom's 90th birthday by the Bakers and Members of the Smith Wick C of C and was a tearful reunion as Tom & Mimi never knew of the surprised visit.
Linvel and my husband connect as Lauris introduced us and from that time on it was fun and lectures by Linvel.
Upon learning of the passing of Linvel on Saturday by Bro. Hanks we were taken aback and saddened I then sent some some enquiry not in doubt, then Lauris said yes.
on behalf of the C of C and Evangelist Randolph we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, family and the church family, May his soul Rest in Peace and rise in Glory
Randolph & Doreen Prentice
Vera Holloman (Mrs James)
September 22, 2021
I still remember the handsome young boy that spent many fun filled hours at our house during the Sunset years at Lubbock. James has been gone 3 years now , but he was thrilled to get to visit with Linvel when he stopped in Sweetwater about a month before James went to claim his reward. He went to services with us & came home for lunch & a wonderful visit with some of our daughters. We all loved Linvel. He was truly a servant. And truly a wonderful friend to my entire family. I’m so sorry Shirley & Ollie. He will be missed.
September 22, 2021
I'll always be indebted to Linvel for helping the people of the church in Mancos, Colorado come to know more fully the true significance of the grace of God. Linvel opened many eyes to understand the destructiveness of a "works" mentality and in so doing, started my family down a path of greater appreciation for God's kindness toward humanity. Linvel passed away too soon but his influence and impact continue to be felt and remain a beautiful legacy in the lives of all those he touched.
September 22, 2021
The Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, TX was where we began the adventure of faith together. Most of us were SO young, but we came from all over the country and across the world. No doubt, we all contributed to each other's "culture shock"... especially Linvel!
And just like so many other believers, it was soon time for us to scatter. Even though our time together was brief, the time we shared together became the foundation for the rest of our lives.
One of the more challenging aspects of ministry has always been to find "the right words" for those who remain behind when a loved one leaves this life for the next. All of a sudden, our faith is required to become real. The following perspective sounds exactly like something the Linvel I remember would say...
You can shed tears that I am gone ,or you can smile because I lived.
You can close your eyes and pray for my return, or you can open your eyes & see all that I have left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see me, or you can be full with the life that we shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow & re-live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember me and only that I am gone, or you can cherish my memory and let it live on.
You can cry and be empty & turn your back on life, or you can do what I would want you to do…
Open your eyes, smile and go on living your life.
September 21, 2021
When I first moved home from California we went to Adam’s wedding in Gulf Shores, In 2011. On the way home we stopped to eat at some pancake place and uncle Linvel and I sat at a table because they were busy and mom and aunt Shirley I think sat at another across from us. He drew me a wagon wheel and talked about balancing every aspect of life. Being too religious or too focused on career or finances, or family etc would make the wheel unbalanced and therefore wouldn’t work. He said, “Sally if you want life to work well you have to have balance in every aspect.” I still have the napkin. Somewhere tucked away in a book. I have so many other memories, but this one came to mind first. I will truly miss him. I am so very sad because I understand, but the first thought I had was my dad. I am certain God let my dad run. Run to meet his dear friend and play chess and talk about all the things. Uncle Linvel will be dearly missed. Love you all so very much.
September 21, 2021
Linvel was one of the finest people I've ever had the pleasure to be friends with and I appreciated his very unique approach to matters. He was a wealth of information when I was building my house and an endless source of humor. We had the opportunity to have a lot of laughs together and I'm richer for the experience. His cows spent a lot of time wandering our yard, in fact, that's how we met. I managed to leave my gate open a few too many times, much to his frustration. Mostly, he was just a great friend, inquisitive, matter of fact, and a first rate counselor when I needed it most. I will miss him and our chats dearly. He will live on in my family's heart for eternity. Godspeed "Limbo".
September 21, 2021
My heart is broken for your mother my dear sister n law Ollie Ann, your beautiful wife Shirley, your children Whitney, Kaleb, Lauren and all your precious grandchildren, your brother Lauris and sister Ann. So many friends I can’t imagine. I feel good to know I was counted as a friend and part related to such a fine man. I will always remember our hunting trip in Sunrise Beach. You taught me how to shoot and handle a rifle. I will miss you.
September 20, 2021
I have a hole in my heart and tears in my eyes. I met Linvel in February 1975 as we began our 2 year program at Sunset School of Preaching. He was 18(nearly 19) and I was 21(nearly 22). He was the youngest in our class and I wasn't far behind. We were more than classmates. We became roommates for over a semester as we finished our studies. The only time I have ever played handball was with Linvel. We were different in many ways. He needed social interaction and I was okay being alone. He needed to know what made something tick and I was satisfied that it was ticking. He could be intense and I was more laid back. He could be blunt or direct and I chose to be more discreet. He was muscular and I was on the skinny side. He was the cook and I was the bottle washer. A few years after Sunset we lost contact with each other as we both had married and went our separate ways. A few years ago we reconnected because of his efforts to track me down. I will be forever grateful that he did. I will always regret those years that we lost . We did share some common interests in chess, hunting, and love of the land.
Shirley, I know this isn't as eloquent as "old man" Calloway but you had a treasure in Linvel. I have never known anyone like him. If there is a line forming in Heaven to ask God questions he is working his way to front of the line. There is so much more but I just can't handle it. Love you.
September 20, 2021
We first met Linvel at Sunset - he was about 19 years old, the youngest in our class - a “hyper kid” but so lovable he endeared himself to all of us. Even in his youth, it was obvious he had special qualities that would make him a truly committed servant in the kingdom. Even then he had a ravenous appetite for knowledge – especially a knowledge of God's word.
We reconnected a few years ago, and I shall always be grateful for the snippets of time we shared on the phone and texting. A real highlight was a visit from Linvel & Shirley in our home in Natchez, MS. He had changed very little in his manner and intense desire to know more and more. Thank God, he had matured, and the “final product” was evidence that God had been deeply involved in this life. There’s nobody like him; there never will be. How blessed we all are to have had some of Linvel in our lives! My heart and my mind are not on the same page. I know all the Scriptures that give assurance that Linvel is where he had made arrangements to be at the end of this life, but my heart is having trouble processing this. I would love to hear him call me an “old man” just one more time.
Shirley, I know that you, your children and grandchildren are comforted with great joy and peace, but heavy with grief at the same time. A huge empty hole has been left in your lives. Our prayers are for you to be strengthened from above, from the God who gave you this wonderful gift. This kind of blow to your lives - you don’t get “over” it, but you do get “through” it - by the power of the One who is always faithful who promised to never leave you alone. We know this is true because the tomb is empty!
Our hearts are touched for Linvel’s mother and siblings. I cannot imagine losing a child, but it is our hope and prayer that you can take comfort in a son you could be proud of. It isn’t the usual order of things, but Linvel has been granted an early claim on his heavenly home.
God bless you all, Denny & Janie Calloway
Judy & Sam Cox
September 18, 2021
To Shirley, Ollie Ann, and Family:
The written word cannot adequately express our overwhelming sorrow for the loss of Linvel, one of our dearest and closest friends. Our hearts are heavy with grief for the loss of this godly man and the treasured friendship we shared with him. There was no other man like Linvel, a man who touched our lives, as well as countless others, in a myriad of ways. He exuded love for God, his family, and friends. An aura of strength, confidence, and spirituality radiated from him, evident by all who knew him.
Shirley, the loss that you are suffering for your beloved Linvel is inconceivable, as well as the indescribable loss felt by Ollie Ann. Our thoughts have been consumed by such a sudden and tragic loss, and we have kept you and your family in our fervent prayers.
May you all find peace, comfort, and strength from cherished memories and the unwavering belief that Linvel has entered his eternal heavenly home and stands in the presence of our awesome and almighty God! He will always have a special place in our hearts. We lost one of the best men God ever created, but Heaven gained his precious soul!
“What was once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” ~ Helen Keller
We send our love and sincere sympathy to all of you,
Judy and Sam Cox
September 18, 2021
My heart hurts for Ollie, Shirley, Whitney, Kaleb, Lauren, Lauris, Ann, his grandchildren, and all Linvel’s family. Linvel, being my first nephew (I was 10 when he was born), was almost like a little brother. He was my little live doll. Tommy asked for him to conduct Tommy’s funeral, which Linvel did. I and my family appreciated the memories he expressed. We will miss you.
September 16, 2021
sorry for your loss (which truthfully is our loss as well) he was a good man. many, many worthwhile conversations we had. he showed me some things in studying the scriptures that have stuck with me and enhanced my journey. thank you, linvel, we will see you later! RIP