Gene Russel Baker, Retired Spokane Fire Department Firefighter, passed away on December 20, 2011 at the Valley Hospital and Medical Center. Gene was 84. He had been a Firefighter for 25 years, retiring as a Lieutenant in 1983. He and his wife, Irene, were looking forward to the Holidays and their anniversary in January. They had planned a trip to Hawaii next spring. Those who knew Gene knew he was a devoted and loving husband, and a good and caring friend. His smile and chuckle were infectious to everyone. Gene had looked forward to speaking with Father Mike Kwiatkowski, St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Otis Orchards, after the Holidays, as he wanted to become a Catholic. Gene is survived by his wife, Irene, daughter, Karen, sister-in-law Anne Clausen two brothers, two sisters and two step-children, John and Laurie. Visitation will be at Hazen and Jaeger Valley Funeral Home, 1306 N. Pines Road, Spokane Valley, on January 3, 2012 from 2pm to 8pm. Funeral Mass will be on Wednesday, January 4th at 11:00AM, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, N. 4521 Arden Road, Otis Orchards, WA, with a reception following. Interment will follow the reception at 1:30pm at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery on Trent. Pallbearers for Gene will be The Spokane Fire Department Honor Guard.