Royce Cleston Baker
August 29, 1929 – August 4, 2011
Royce Cleston Baker, age 81, of Holt, died Aug. 4, 2011, at VA Medical Center. Services will be 3 p.m. Tuesday at Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations. Burial will follow at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park with Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing. Visitation will be tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, William Royce Baker, age 49, just this past May.
He leaves behind his three sons, Larry Baker (Alice) of Oceanside, Calif., David Baker of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Kenneth Baker (Rhonda) of Anniston; his three daughters, Vera “Becki” Baker of Killeen, Texas, JoAnna Baker-Bowles (Wayne) of Richardson, Texas, and Patricia Rucker (Royce) of Killeen, Texas; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; his brother, Rae Baker of Cottondale; his sisters, Vera Mae Abston of Ala. and Fae Simmons of Ala.; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Mr. Baker was born Aug. 29, 1929, in Hodges, Ala. to Benjamin F. Baker and Etta Lou Rawlings and raised in Hodges, Ala. He entered the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War. He was a member of the U.S. Army Pistol Team where he earned the Expert Pistol Designation and traveled the globe competing in marksmanship competitions. He won hundreds of trophies and medals for his expert pistol skills. He dedicated 20 years of his life serving his country as a member of the United States Army, where he received the Good Conduct Medal Clasp, Bronze, 2 Loops Expert Pistol, and First Oak Leaf Cluster to National Defense Service Medal.
After retiring from the military in 1968, Mr. Baker sold Insurance for National Life and Accident Insurance Co. But, he could not get away from the pistol skills and attended and graduated from the Central Texas College Police Academy in 1974. He then became a Killeen Police Officer and later a Bell County Deputy Sheriff.
Mr. Baker had a passion for animals, especially his now 16 year old cat “Tom”. He would often help feed and water any animal in need.
He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a lifelong member of the Killeen Masonic Lodge #1125 and the Karem Shrine Temple.
During his life, he exemplified love, kindness, strength, and courage to all who knew him. We, his family and friends, release him to our Heavenly Father in the confidence that we shall be reunited in Heaven.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Royce Baker's name to the Humane Society of West Alabama, 1515 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404.
- Visitation Monday, August 8, 2011
- Funeral Service Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Royce Cleston Baker
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November 28, 2011
My Daddy, I lost the best Father, Mentor, Friend and Man that I ever knew. He passed away peacefully holding my hand. I celebrate his life of dedication to the "Greater Good". I celebrate the long life he lived teaching his children, grandchildren and anyone who would listen, the many lessons he learned in life. He was a lover of humanity, animals, life and God. I will dearly miss his physical presence in my life. I look forward to feeling his Fatherly love and direction surround me throughout the rest of my life and to the day when I will see him again on God's celestial shores. He was a great man. I love you, Daddy. Your, Cookie
August 9, 2011
May God Bless you and your family during this time. We enjoyed taking care of and getting to know Mr. Baker at the Honors Way Hospice at the VA Medical Center. Pam Duren RNC Staff Nurse Honors Way Hospice TVAMC
August 8, 2011
Mr.Baker was such a true animal lover. I went out to help him with some of the animals in his care or that he was concerned about. One of our most 'famous' cases was Grendel, a darling Shih tzu that Mr Baker was able to rescue. You would not have know what type of dog she was, she was so matted and dirty and injured. And then he was so concerned with the little dog kept chained up on a three foot chain that he talked the owners into turning over to us. We found wonderful homes for both of these dog. We will miss Mr. Baker and all the animals he has helped are most grateful for his compassion for animals.
Humane Society of West Alabama