It is with great sadness that the family of Robert (Bob) Cornelius Baker announces his passing on Jan. 7, 2019, in Atascadero, Calif. Bob will be lovingly remembered by his wife of nearly 60 years, Donna, and his children Jeff (Dedie) Baker of El Cajon, Calif., and Cindy (Mark) Frauenheim of San Luis Obispo, Calif. He will also be fondly remembered by his five grandchildren, Carsten, Anna, Michael, Marissa, and Matthew, and brother Don Baker. Bob was preceded in death by his son Steven and his brother Bruce. Bob will also be forever remembered by his numerous nieces, nephews and extended family and dear friends.
Bob was born in the small community of Grant Park, Ill. on Dec. 24, 1933, to parents Cornelius (Casey) and Nelda Baker. His father died when Bob was 17, and Bob continued helping his mom run the family farm. At his mother’s urging, Bob attended and graduated from Purdue University in 1957 with a degree in electrical engineering. He accepted a position in San Diego with General Dynamics and soon after met Donna Nielsen. They were married on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 1959. Bob had a wonderful career working as a program manager in the aerospace industry, primarily involved in military radar systems. He loved anything to do with aviation and space and was a private pilot, both powered and sailplane.
Bob loved to build furniture and carpentry and skillfully made numerous pieces for their home. He was also extremely good at fixing just about anything. Some of his favorite activities included beach days, boating, and waterskiing. Bob loved his wife and kids dearly, and one of his favorite pastimes was camping and traveling with them. He drove the family on numerous road trips, creating wonderful memories and instilling a love for the outdoors and family togetherness.
Bob retired in 1991, and he and Donna decided to move to Fayette, Mo., after seeing its beauty on a motorhome tour of the U.S. in 1992. They created a piece of small-town paradise on their 160 acres of rolling hills, trees, and ponds. They spruced up and enlarged a 1914 Sears Roebuck Catalog home, and named their place “The Meadows.” They enjoyed 19 wonderful years in that special place. They made many dear friends in Fayette and the surrounding community. Their grandchildren had many years of wonderful visits and adventures at The Meadows.
Bob was an active church member his entire life, including the First Christian Churches in Sherburnville, Ill., El Cajon, Calif., and Fayette, Mo. Most recently he and Donna attended Atascadero Bible Church.
Bob and Donna returned to California in May of 2015 to be closer to their kids as Bob’s health declined due to Parkinson’s disease. They quickly made friends in their new community of Atascadero, and Bob enjoyed the beauty and warm climate.
A Celebration of Bob’s life will be held Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Atascadero Bible Church, 6225 Atascadero, Calif., with Pastor Tom Ferrell officiating.