John is at peace as he passed away on January 27, 2015. He was born April 9, 1937 to Ralph and Margaret (Phillips) Baker in Lansing, Michigan. He was a lifelong resident of the Lansing area, currently of Holt, MI. He attended Resurrection Catholic Schools and graduated from Michigan State University with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Education. He was also a member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. He was truly a “Spartan for Life.” Go Green! John and his wife Carolyn enjoyed going to Michigan State football, hockey, women’s basketball and Lansing Lugnuts games. He was also a member of the Downtown Coaches Club, MSU Blue Line Club, and the MSU Fast Break Club. John taught in the Lansing School District for 25 years. He was a member of MARSP. He also coached many youth sports including hockey and softball. He coached peewee through midget teams with GLAHA and was the head coach for the Eastern High School Hockey Club for many years. Coaching his children’s softball teams in the summer for the Delhi Township league was another enjoyment of his. John enjoyed watching his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events, music concerts, and fall marching bands. Four Foreign Exchange students found their new homes with the Bakers. John and his family hosted students from Germany, Finland, and the Netherlands. Traveling and sharing stories of different places brought great joy to John. He and Carolyn enjoyed their time in Fort Myers Beach, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; Hawaii; and Jones Beach, Long Island, New York. Be it a simple fall color and apple picking trip or numerous bus trips to MSU hockey games: if he had the time, he wanted to travel. Stays in the fall at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island were another favorite. But most of all he enjoyed his time at his cottage in Irons, Michigan. He spent many days and nights fishing the Little Manistee River. Fly fishing at night was the best! John also served his Lord at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Lansing, Michigan. He served on the Vestry for 3 terms. He had a true love for animals. Throughout his life he had numerous dogs and a cat. His most recent companion was his buddy, Curly Q.
John is survived by his wife of 51 years, Carolyn (Heinsohn) Baker; his children: Teresa (David) Lauzun, Patricia (Dr. Gregory) Smith, John Phillips (Barbara) Baker Jr., and Margaret (Scott) Weber; 9 grandchildren: Victoria Lauzun, Heather (Nick) Bolen, Adam Lauzun, Michelle Smith, Matthew Smith, Anna Baker, John Phillips Baker III, Allison Weber, and Marshall Weber; and 1 great-grandchild: Olivia Bolen. The family expresses their gratitude for the compassionate care of John to Dr. John W. Gobel, Dr. David J. Strobl, Dr. Kristin Gaumer, Airway Oxygen Inc., and McLaren Hospice and all their wonderful nurses, aides, and volunteers. To honor John please live, love, and laugh. Above all please don’t smoke.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 30, 2015, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 6500 Amwood Dr., Lansing, MI. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on Thursday at the Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church Lansing, McLaren Hospice, Capital Area Humane Society, or the American Lung Association.