Cover photo for Merrill "Junior" Baker's Obituary
Merrill "Junior" Baker Profile Photo

Merrill "Junior" Baker

February 5, 1954 — May 4, 2023

Bellefontaine

Merrill "Junior" Baker

 Merrill “Junior” Baker, 69, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, passed away on May 4, 2023. He was born on February 5, 1954, in Sidney, Ohio, to the late Pat and Phyllis (Manahan) Baker. He is also proceeded in death by his brother James “Jimmy” Baker; sister and brother-in-law: Lucy A. and Bobby R. Marlow; and a beloved nephew, Mitchell Marlow.

He leaves behind a brother, Tim (Shelley) Baker of DeGraff; nephews: Michael Stroud of Lewistown, Sampson and Christopher Marlow of Tennessee, Timothy Josiah Baker stationed in West Virginia and his number one fan, his niece Loretta Stroud. The list of Junior’s surviving family cannot be contained on a list! Junior Baker leaves behind a legacy, his family that will forever love and feel the loss of this man include his decades long stream of family from RTC Industries and the Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities, folks that were his people; Rose Canter, Kelli Bader, Lori Barber, Christy McGill, Tonya Reed, Kara Fanaff, Helen Manns, Lisa Manns, Jenn Du, Kaylie Sloan, Lexi Birt, Brenda Ansley, Abby Miller, Nancy Evans-Donley, Lisa Davidson, Melissa Rollins and his best friend James Holbrook, as well as numerous others. He leaves on earth his church family from Jubilee Mennonite Church; his “other brother” Chris Walker, Russ and Beth Miller, Jeri and Steve Rumsey, Lori Carter, and Pastor Gwyn Stetler.

Junior Baker, a one-of-a-kind man, and a local celebrity in his own right, had friends everywhere he went! He is remembered for his presence at baseball and softball games at the park in DeGraff, helping to umpire, (whether anyone wanted him to or not) and even getting his umpires license and officiating at many games. He was famous for riding his 3-wheeled bike about town with his pipe in his mouth saying hello to everyone and cussing at passing cars that he thought got a little too close. For decades, everyone in DeGraff knew Jr. Baker. In 2000 he moved to Bellefontaine, close enough to Walmart and Kroger that he expanded his family by thousands! Jr made it a point to know and talk to every person that smiled at him and said hello. A quick trip to the store to grab a few things for his dinner, would become a 2-hour adventure, because he said “hi, how are you doing” to any person that smiled his way, sometimes he would talk to people for 10 minutes and say, “I forget your name” because he never knew their name, they were just someone that smiled at Mr. Baker.

He had the biggest heart, was the most caring human with an ornery streak a mile wide! He will forever be remembered for his famous phrase, “I DON’T THINK SO” raising one finger for each word. Junior Baker was an avid participant of the Special Olympics for decades bringing home and displaying numerous medals, he was an Advocate for all people with Disabilities, he was an Advocacy Trainer as well as a member of the Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities Special Olympics, Aktion Club, Bellefontaine Kiwanis, RTC Job Club, Employee Council, Project Stir Trainer, Ohio Leader and a proud graduate of the Citizen’s Police Academy.

Co-Pastor Gwyn Stetler will officiate a funeral service at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at the Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 321 N. Main Street, Bellefontaine. Visitation will be two hours prior from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home. There will be a gathering for family and friends at RTC Industries at 4:00 p.m. after the service.

Per Junior’s wishes, he will be cremated following the services and a private inurnment will take place at a later date in Greenwood-Union Cemetery, DeGraff.

Memorial contributions may be made to RTC Industries, 36 County Road 32 S, Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311.

EICHHOLTZ DARING & SANFORD FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTER, BELLEFONTAINE is honored to serve the Baker family.

 

(family authored obituary)

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merrill "Junior" Baker, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center

321 N Main Street, Bellefontaine, OH 43311

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center

321 N Main Street, Bellefontaine, OH 43311

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 1485

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree