Charles Mark Baker of Apache, Oklahoma, was born July 31, 1938, in Pender, Neb., to Dr. Charles Elmer and Mattie Florilla (Adee) Baker. He passed away April 24th in Lawton, OK, at the age of 76.
Charles, or Chuck, grew up in David City, NE. He graduated high school from Kemper Military Academy and went on to graduate from Colorado State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in horticulture. He married Diana Lee Rorabaugh on December 29, 1962, in Colorado Springs. To this union, two children were born. Chuck entered the Navy and served as a lieutenant in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. After his years in the Navy, he moved to Colorado to begin his civilian life. He and his wife purchased Richard’s Flowers and Greenhouses in Fort Collins and operated it until 1975 when they divorced.
He married Barbara Kay Bunnell Hill on February 1, 1976, during Sunday morning mass at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ft. Collins. She preceded him in death July 13, 1998. He went to work for Colorado State University and eventually retired as head groundskeeper on the West Campus. During his time there, he designed many of the campus’s natural landscaped plantings. After his official retirement, he stayed on as a consultant until he moved from Fort Collins to be closer to his daughter in Apache, OK.
Chuck enjoyed gardening and fishing. He was a serious genealogist and took great pleasure in visiting with family and discovering new connections. He was a big supporter of the arts, and loved going to concerts, plays and even singing in the church choir. After moving to Apache, he enjoyed going to his grandson’s games and got involved with the Apache Genealogical Society. He was very proud of his family and loved everyone who called him Grampa Chuck.
He is survived by one son, Charles Baker of Colorado Springs; one daughter, Allison and husband, Rob Crews of Apache, OK; twos step-sons, John and wife, Mary Hill of Ft. Collins, and Matthew Hill of Ola, AR; six grandchildren, Stephen and wife, Hannah Hill, Catie and husband Patrick Kehoe, Barbara Ann Hill, Sean Crews, Jason Crews, Carolyn and husband Aatish Salvi; three great-grandchildren, Asher Danforth, Athen Danforth, Mohini Salvi; one sister, Kathryn Robson of Lincoln, NE; three beloved nieces and their spouses and families; many former family members whom he cared for greatly.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Barbara Baker; one brother-in-law, John ‘Jack’ Robson; one grandson, Kenny Knox.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 29 at the Crews Funeral Home Chapel in Oklahoma, with Roy Young officiating. Burial will be held at a later date in Pender, NE.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Apache Public Library or the Apache Nutrition Center.
Online condolences may be sent to the family.