Retired Capt. Marion
Knight Baker, 82, of Goodyear, Arizona, passed
away peacefully Aug. 13, 2016, after a long, hard-fought
battle with prostate cancer and heart disease. He was
born June 19, 1934, on a small farm outside Orange
Township, Indiana, to Thurman Earl Baker and Charlotte
Estella (Robbins) Baker.
In 1955, he enlisted in
the U.S. Air Force and served as a bomber navigation
system mechanic for six years and eight months. During
this time he met and married the love of his life,
Deanna Bolin, on May 27, 1956 in Andersonville,
Indiana. He began Officer Candidate School in April
1961 and graduated in September 1961 as a second
lieutenant with Class 62-A at Lackland Air Force Base,
Texas. He went on to serve an additional 13 years, four
months as a missile maintenance staff officer, with an
important role in the Minuteman missile program,
retiring in 1975 with the 394th Strategic Missile
Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, California.
distinguished himself and earned the Air Force
Commendation Medal for Outstanding Achievement, Small
Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, National Defense
Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Medal
and Air Force Longevity Service Award. While serving in
the Air Force he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in
history from Chapman University.
retirement from the Air Force, Baker joined the Santa
Barbara County Sheriff Department for four years. He
then embarked upon a career in the airline industry
serving as a station manager at Golden West Airlines and
Pacific Coast Airlines before joining SkyWest-Delta
Airlines. He moved to the Phoenix area in 1993, retiring
from the airline industry in 1996.
At age 9,
Baker accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior at
the Pilgrim Holiness Church in Clarksburg, Indiana. In
1966, he rededicated his life to Christ and joined the
Southern Baptist Church. He was a faithful steward,
serving as a Deacon, Sunday school teacher, youth leader
and member of the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry to
support the young Airmen serving at Air Force
installations. He was a member of the First Southern
Baptist Church in Avondale, Arizona, and also attended
Calvary Chapel in Surprise, Arizona. Baker was an avid
fisherman, hunter, weight lifter, long-distance runner
and enjoyed hiking and panning for gold before the
decline in his health.
Surviving to cherish his
memory are his wife of 60 years, Deanna (Bolin) Baker of
Goodyear, and children Michael Baker (Melody) of Tucson,
Arizona; Brenda Baker Brooks (William) of Goodyear;
Douglas Baker (Jennifer) of Tucson, Arizona; Kimberly
Fitzgerald (fiancÚ Dave Scott) of Santa Barbara,
California' and Lawrence Baker of Avondale, Arizona. He
is also survived by nine grandchildren: Benjamin Baker
(Alinora); Adrianna Robinett (Virgil); Micaiah Baker
(Jillian); David, Melissa and Moriah Baker; Jessica
O'Connell (William); and William and Nicholas Brooks.
His eight great-grandchildren include Hope, Thomas and
Wisdom O'Connell; Jacob, Ezra, Ari and Catey Robinett;
and Grayson Baker. He leaves behind two brothers David
Baker (Dorothy) of East Moline, Illinois; Gerald Baker
(Patricia) of Burnsville, Minnesota; and two sisters,
Janet Feightner of Hazelton, Indiana; and Charlotte Jean
Cox of Greensburg, Indiana.
Baker is predeceased
by his parents Thurman and Charlotte Baker; his brother
Irvin Glenn Baker; and his sister Esther Vea Emerson.
Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery in
Arlington, Virginia, at a later date.
In lieu of
flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the
American Cancer Society or the American Heart
Condolences can be sent to
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to forward by
An article from the April 2010
Air Force Magazine
tells about the battlefield
commissioning of our Honorary Classmate, Art Cormier and two
other enlisted POW's while
they were in Vietnam.
Check this link out!
Veterans in Blue
To see a recent email message from
Murray LaHue, that brings back a lot of memories
!! NEW !!
A short video
of those who gave
their all for liberty.