James McCall "Jim" Baker, 81, of Hunting Ridge Road, Martinsville, died Tuesday afternoon, March 20, 2012.
Born November 21, 1930 in Rowland NC, he was the son of Wade Hampton Baker and Eva Pleasants Baker. He studied business at the University of North Carolina, graduating in 1953, later earning his CPA. He served in the Army (101st Airborne) for two years then began a career in accounting. He worked for Peat-Marwick and for the newspaper in Greensboro before moving into the textile industry, a change that brought him to Martinsville to join Tultex in 1973.
He retired in 1996 and focused his time on service to his community. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church for nearly 40 years and served as an elder there. He was active in the Rotary Club, served as a Master Gardener, volunteered with the Virginia Museum of Natural History and Hospice of Memorial Hospital, supported the Boy Scouts, and used his experience in business to help new companies through the SCORE program.
He married Nancy Rose Leonard in March of 1962. He surely lives through his sons, but his grandchildren are his proudest legacy. Albert Baker, his wife Tracy, and their children Tom and Rose live in Lynchburg, Va. Mac Baker and his wife Mary Beth and their children James and Ellie live in Lexington, Va.
His brother Harvey Baker and his sisters Ann Styron and Eva Hardin preceded him in death. Surviving siblings include Mary Bell Hall, Marion Baker, and Neil Baker. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia during the last four months of his life. He faced it with the stoicism and bravery that we all knew him for, but he still found humor in the little things and beauty in the natural world. He spent his last few days surrounded by those he loved, in the care of skilled and compassionate friends at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 25 at 2:00 in the afternoon at First Presbyterian Church with a reception to follow at the church.
The family will receive friends Saturday, March 24, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at McKee-Stone Funeral Home in Martinsville.
Please remember him through memorials to First Presbyterian Church (1901 Patrick Henry Ave, Martinsville), to the Blue Ridge Mountains Council of the Boy Scouts of America (P.O. Box 7606, Roanoke, VA 24019-0606), or to the charity of your choice.