James Arthur “Jim” Baker, 91, of Satsuma, passed away Sept. 5, 2016, at Haven Hospice in Palatka.
He was born on March 9, 1925, to Arley and Georgie Cox Baker in Ullin, Ill. An avid fisherman, he was married to the "catch of his life," LaVerne Henson Baker, for 65 years. After working in the food brokerage business in Jacksonville for 30 years, he and Mrs. Baker retired to Palatka in 1986. Like his father and other men in his family, Mr. Baker was a dedicated and proud Freemason, having joined the Masonic Lodge in 1951. He was a member of Pineland Lodge 86. He was Hospital Community chairman with the Putnam County Shrine Club, where he regularly provided transportation to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. He was a member of the Scottish Rites and loved the Palatka Skeet Club. Before a stroke in 2003, Mr. Baker was a 45-gallon blood donor to both Duval and Putnam County blood banks. His life was defined by Freemasonry principles, humility, love of country and selfless service to others.
He is survived by his wife, LaVerne; sons, James A. Baker Jr. (Pat) and Tillman Cress Baker (Mary Jean); daughters, Cheryl Hughes and Robbin Green; sisters, Jane Robertson (James) and Arlene Shirley (Jim); several grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and nieces and nephews. Mr. Baker is also survived by three very special loved ones, Stephanie Green, Kristi Underwood and Arley Baker.
Services will be 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16 at Heckscher Drive Baptist Church in Jacksonville.
The family requests donations be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 12502 Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, in lieu of flowers. Memories may be shared with his family online at www.wattsfuneralhomes.com.