Joe G. Baker

July 4, 1919November 13, 2010

Joe G. Baker passed away Saturday, November 13, 2010 at the age of 91. Baker was born July 4, 1919 in Crawford, Texas to the late Charles and Alma Baker. Joe was a 1937 graduate of Gatesville High School where he participated in football and track. After graduation Joe attended Independence (KS) Junior College and Ottawa (KS) University on football scholarships to further his academic career. His college education was interrupted by the onset of WW II. Joe enlisted in the Marine Corp on December 8, 1941; the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He participated in many battles in the Pacific Theater, including Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Tinian and Saipan. During a fierce battle on Saipan, Joe was wounded and spent 7 days in a field hospital. He later returned to his unit and saw further action. He would be awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, some 56 years after the war.

After the war Joe completed his college education at Washburn University in Topeka, KS with help from the G.I. bill. While at Washburn Joe was an assistant football coach. Baker also received his Masters degree from the University of Kansas in 1957. He was hired as a football, basketball and track coach in 1948, and later, as Director of Athletics at Turner High school in Kansas City, KS. He would retire in 1984 having served the school district, and community, for 37 years.

While attending Washburn University, Joe met Anna Moden and made her is wife on June 5, 1948. They were married for 62 years. She survives and resides in San Antonio, TX. Other members of the family include his children, Dr. Jay Baker and wife Dr. Cynthia Baker of Ozark, MO, Joanna Grogan and husband Pat of San Antonio, TX; grandchildren; Becky Dailey and husband Lt. Klint Dailey of Sierra Vista, AZ, Joshua Baker and wife Tori of Kansas City, KS, Jennifer Hornick and husband Neil of Ozark, MO, Matt Grogan and wife Maggie of St. Louis, MO; great grandchildren, Lillian Dailey, Brynn Dailey, Jackson Dailey, Gage Hornick, Jayden Baker, Cora Dailey; brother, Charles Baker of Kingsville, TX and sister, Joyce Bone of Gatesville, TX. Mr. Baker was preceded in death by a son, Wade Baker and by his sister, Avis Colwick.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 12:00 P.M. at Sunset North Funeral Home in San Antonio. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that contributions be made to the Turner Foundation Inc., Attn: Pam Noe, 800 S. 55th St., Kansas City, KS 66106 or on the web at To sign the online guestbook, please log on to


  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 20, 2010

Joe G. Baker

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January 10, 2011

Anna, Jay, & Joanna,

First of all let me apologize for my lateness in sending my sincere sympathies. I got hit with displaced ribs, sinusitis & bronchitis between Thanksgiving and Christmas so I was "out of commission" for a while.

I have very found memories of "Mr. Baker". I have those visions of him coming over to our house and asking "Hubie" to borrow a tool or how to fix something. I have visions of him teasing me about dating a guy from Shawnee Mission North. I have visions of his wonderful smile & hear his great laugh. I believe that Daddy and Joe are holding a great Turner coaches meeting and will be there to welcome others.

God Bless You all!

Sally Waugh Helton

Senator Leticia Van De Putte

November 30, 2010

Dear Friends and Family of Mr. Joe Baker:

Please accept my deepest sympathies on the loss of your beloved. There are never any right words to express how deeply sad I am for the pain your family is enduring at this difficult time.

Although I did not have the honor and pleasure of knowing him, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations, I am sincerely thankful for his valiant service in defense of our rights and freedom.

His commitment to family, friends, our community, and to serving our great nation leaves a wonderful legacy. May the love and the wonderful memories you shared with him help you when you need it most. He will never be forgotten, and your family will be remembered in my prayers.

Roxanne Swartz-Thompson

November 28, 2010

Our deepest sympathy to the Baker family. I'm a 3rd generation THS graduate. Mr. Baker was my History teacher. I loved visiting with him, in most part he would ask about my family. He is one of my favorites that I'll never forget. My grandfather, 1st grad. class in 1919. My parents in 1955, myself in 1978 and my brother in 1980. He will be missed.

Cindy Baker

November 26, 2010

Dad, It was only appropriate that Pat helped us celebrate your life in a beautiful service as you continue to live on in my heart. We celebrated you at our Thanksgiving table yesterday and have continued your tradition by answering our phone with "Christmas Gift"!!! I will always love, cherish and honor you as my "dad". You will be sorely missed!

Jack Bender

November 22, 2010

A great coach, and a great man, I was a gym assistant for him in gym class. My condolences to the family. And a special salute to Joe, who was also a veteran and a hero to many.

Mike & Karen Grogan

November 21, 2010

Dear Anna, Joanna, Pat and Family,
We are so sorry to hear of your loss. What a wonderful long and rewarding life Joe lived. Just reading all the memories in this guestbook shows what an inpact he had on so many different people. It was very unique that he had the opportunity to be a teacher, coach and athletic director at one school for his entire career. He really epitomized Turner athletics and he had an infectious smile! Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love, Mike and Karen

John Beery

November 21, 2010

Mr Baker was one of my coaches and my favorite. He was a very good man. John Beery THS 1959

Paul Routh

November 20, 2010

Mrs were the secretary at the Turner Grade school in the 50's I remember Joe coming over to see you there..Later he was my track coach, and I was in a few of his classes, he was a good man strict, but fair, he had integrity, I always admired him, and still do..We need more men like him...

Martha Vyhanek and Mary Ruhl

November 20, 2010

Dear Joanna and Jay,
We have such fun memories of you and your dad at Overland Park pool many years ago. Please know that you and your families are in our thoughts and prayers.
Martha (Little M) Ruhl Vyhanek
Mary (Big M) Ruhl

Jane Koontz

November 20, 2010

Anna, Joanna and Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Joe was my dad's best friend and I have so many fond memories. Your family was a big part of of my childhood. Love to you...Janie