K. Earl Baker

Matthew 5: 15-16 

No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

A resident of Morrisburg for the past 44 years, K. Earl Baker passed away peacefully with his family by his side at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Sunday, January 20, 2013, following a brief illness.  Earl was 84 years old.

The son of the late Charles and Mary Baker (nee Carson), Earl was born on July 29, 1928, just north of Cannemore, Ontario in Finch Township.

On September 27, 1947, Earl married June (nee Casselman) at Prescott, Ontario.  Together they raised five children, Elaine Froats (Ricki), Dianne Claxton (Allen), Richard (Lorri), Susan Barber (Don) and Ruth Speer (Brian)

Earl was the cherished grandpa and poppa of Dennis (Peggy) Froats, Mark (Lisa) Froats, Brent (Leslie) Claxton, Keith (Jill) Claxton, Steven (Samantha Shaver) Claxton, Jessica Botsford-Baker (Vaughan Russell), Megan Baker, Derek, Jeffrey and Andrew Barber and Scott and Sarah Speer.  

He was the beloved great-grandpa to Randy, Kurt, Cole, Ethan, Brody, Brett, Sydney, Paige, Wade, Kacey and Ava.

Earl will be dearly missed by his sister Lillian Sypes, sister-in-law Margherita Baker, brother-in-law Gordon (Marjorie) Casselman, brother-in-law Jim (Ada) Casselman, sister-in-law Judy (Raymond) Lewis and sister-in-law Carley Casselman (Terry Helmer) and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents Charles and Mary, brothers Stanley, Walter, Carson, Russell, Kenneth and George and sisters, Gladys Duval, Sybil Smith and Evelyn Millward and by his eldest daughter, Elaine Froats.

Earl’s family is very grateful to Dr. Coolican, Dr. Grewal and the staff at Winchester District Memorial Hospital and the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic for their excellent care and compassion shown to Earl and his family.

Earl had a great love and concern for his family.  His family has grown to number 41 with one new addition on the way in early May.  

His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the light of his life.  Each one was special to Earl, and he special to each one of them. 

The last great grandson who is just a little over two now was named after Earl – he is called Kacey Earl – it’s pretty cool to have another K. Earl in the family and Earl’s face would light up whenever Kacey Earl would come into the room.  

The same can be said for all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

There was so much that Earl was involved with in his community. He worked on the Renew The Vision Campaign for Winchester Hospital, and for many years was a director on the Upper Canada Playhouse Board.

He was instrumental in tearing down the old tent theatre on Upper Canada Road and then worked tirelessly at preparing the Odonto plant to help it become the wonderful place it is today.  

For many years Earl served on the Chamber of Commerce. 

He was a Morrisburg councillor for two terms and served a term as Reeve of Morrisburg.  

He was Clerk of Session at Knox Presbyterian Church, serving as an Elder in the Church for over 40 years and a Church Trustee.  

Earl worked on the mural committee that helped to bring the murals to South Dundas, and served on a village Variance Committee. 

He delivered for Meals on Wheels and was Coordinator of the BIA. He helped organize and work at Applefest, worked at Home & Trade Shows and was often the Master of Ceremonies for events like this.  

Earl was on the organizing committee that worked tirelessly to bring Old Home Week to Morrisburg. 

He received a certificate of appreciation from the Township of South Dundas for his work during the ice storm and he was very excited when the army came to town to work and assist the people of this community during those days and weeks in January of 1998.  

Despite all that he was involved with in the community, Earl still found time for his family and personal life.  

He ran his own successful business for many years–the Texaco garage and a fuel oil business that sat on the property where Giant Tiger now sits. He merged his business with another in the area to become known as Edgerton-Baker Fuels.  

Earl gained many friends through the years and helped out a lot of people–giving many a hand up in life, helping them find jobs and even a place to live if that is what was needed.

One of the last contributions to the community he loved was his work Earl with the Morrisburg & District Lions Club to have a park bench installed just outside the Morrisburg Post Office. It was a great addition to that area and a great spot for seniors and the like who might need a bit of rest before going on their way.  

Earl didn’t want any credit for doing what he did. He said, I just made a phone call to Keith Robinson and next thing you knew it was done and in place.

Earl’s family is grateful to the Township and the wonderful honour bestowed upon him with the naming of the park in Morrisburg, “The Earl Baker Park”. 

He was delighted to be recognized for his efforts and his legacy will continue.  

The day of the huge playground build in September of 2011, was a real highlight for Earl. He was there the entire day and watched everything unfold. He was so proud of it all, and he took pride in watching his community come together and do something so grand.  

Earl was one of those gentle, caring men who could work tirelessly to get things done, and he was someone who was very hard to say “no” to.  

He had some wonderful friends through the years that he could always count on to help with projects–other folks who are also pillars of this community–the likes of Les Cruickshank, Mike McInnis, Peter MacEwen, Bob Mattice, Harland Veinotte, Glen Cunningham, Gerry and Lois Rosenquist just to name a few.

The community learned so much from watching what could be done when these folks worked together, and Earl was proud to have them as friends as they shared their time, gifts and talents with community as he did.

Mike McInnis, a very dear friend of Earl’s, shared some memories at the funeral about what a genuine warm and cheerful smile Earl had that conveyed a message of friendship.

He quoted Charles Darwin who said “A man’s friendships is one of the best measures of his worth”.  

If this be true, Mike suggested that Earl was indeed a wealthy man.  Mike asked that as we celebrate and remember Earl’s life, the work he has done, the examples he has set, the people he has helped with a friendly smile and cheery hello, we can be truly thankful for his good life.

Friends called at the Parker Funeral Home, Morrisburg, on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. 

The funeral Service was held at Knox Presbyterian Church on Thursday, January 24th at 10 a.m., with Rev. Geoff Howard officiating.  Interment followed at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Morrisburg. 

Pallbearers were Gary Baker, Walter Baker, Michael Casselman, Charles Farlinger, John Johnston and Neil Williams. 

Honourary pallbearers were Les Cruickshank, Linda Cummins, Carolyn Gear, Ted Jarvis, Reta McDonald, Carlton (Mike) McInnis and Keith Robinson.

Memorial donations to the South Dundas Community Playground or Winchester District Memorial Hospital gratefully acknowledged.  

Condolences and donations may be made at parkerfh@personainternet.com.

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