James Henry Baker, Jr. was born March 29, 1921 in Memphis, Tennessee.
In his 93 years Jim lived an incredible life that included military service, family, music, cats, coffee (hot, with a shot of whisky) and love.
Jim served during World War II and at the age of 24 was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained during his tour in France and Germany. After his years of military service Jim progressed through many occupations from instructing skiing at Timberline Lodge in Oregon, to a job as a sales and service representative for Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation. His territory included Anchorage, Alaska where, as fate would have it, his heart would be taken by a lovely young stewardess named Blanche.
The two were married in March of 1956 and built a beautiful life together. The couple settled with their three children in Eureka in 1960 where Jim became an active member of the community and opened the doors of Baker Duplicating, a full service printing business.
In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors Jim had a deep love for music. A primarily self-taught musician, Jim played the harmonica, guitar, ukulele, and tuba. He attended music classes at HSU and College of the Redwoods as well as performing as a member of many local music groups including the Eureka Brass Band, and the Scotia Band. His Tuba (which he recently donated) will be featured in this month's Redwood Coast Music Festival where Jim was to be honored for his donation and support.
Jim spent innumerable hours enjoying conversation with fellow veterans, friends and family.
As Jim joins his beloved wife Blanche in heaven, he is remembered and survived by his children, Christine Castaneda, David Baker, and Susan McLearn; his grandchildren James Castaneda and Jenaha Hochhalter; his great grandchildren James and Sophia Castaneda; as well as by extended family member Keith Morton, and many friends whom were never considered less than part of the family.
For those who wish to honor Jim a full military honor guard internment service will be held Monday, March 24, 2014 at 10am at the Sunset Memorial Park on South Broadway, Eureka.
The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Redwood Coast Music Festivals (RCMF) Youth Music Fund, 523 5th Street, Eureka, CA 95501.