Claremore Daily Progress

December 26, 2012

Walt Baker

Staff Reports
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — A celebration of the life of Walt Baker will be 2 p.m., today at Word Fellowship Church in Chouteau, Okla. under the direction of Rice Funeral Service.  

Burial will follow in Oakhaven Memorial Gardens in Claremore with military honors.  Walt left his earthly home for his eternal Heavenly Home on Sat., Dec. 22, 2012 at 1:20 a.m.  He was 67 years of age.

Born in Snyder, Okla., on Oct. 15, 1945 to James and Josephine (Smith) Baker, Walt was reared and educated in Salina, OK.  Following his graduation from Salina High School, Walt continued his education by earning numerous college and military degrees.  He married Leola (Lee) George and the couple celebrated 38 years together and was gifted with 5 children.

Walt had a love of his country and served in the U.S. Army for 15 years as a Drill Sargent.  

During his military career, Walt developed the characteristics that his family used to describe him, driven, focused, strong-willed and independent.  Although he was proud of his military career one of his favorite pastimes was found in his horses and barrel racing.  

He held the position as president of the Sooner Barrel Racing Association.  Life on the ranch and taking care of Lee were always the priority for Walt.

While growing up and raising his own children, baseball was also a very big part of his life. He and his father started baseball in NE Oklahoma when he was a child, and he carried on that legacy serving as head coach for his own boys and many of their friends from t-ball all the way thru American Legion.

With his love of the Lord, Walt enjoyed his calling as a Biblical Counselor.  His church and church family were a treasured gift.  He also had a great love of his own family, but his grandkids were the ones that truly stole his heart.  Walt will be remembered as a man who loved to laugh and share his good sense of humor with others.

This husband, father and grandfather will be missed by all who knew him.  

Those that survive include his wife, Lee of their home in Inola; his children, Darren Baker and wife Tina of Pryor, Larry Baker and wife Laurie, Lonna Burkhardt and husband Mike all of Catoosa, James Fields of Ft. Gibson and Lisa Baker of Tulsa; Brother Clarence “Sandy” Baker; grandchildren; Dalton, Destinee and Alexis Baker, Dakota Moore and Kayley Smith; his brothers and sisters-in-law Neal and Chris George, Benny & Sherril George, Rick & Brenda Nichols and many other family members.  Walt was preceded in death by his parents.