MOUNT VERNON — Thomas L. Baker, 69, of Mount Vernon, passed away Dec. 7, 2011, at Riverside Methodist Hospital.
He was born Dec. 6, 1942, in Detroit, Mich. Tom was the son of the late Joseph and Ruth (Warner) Baker.
Tom is survived by his wife, Linda S. McLin; and his children, Justin Baker and Amy (Dave) Hoffman; siblings, Joe (Shirley) Baker, Joyce (Lou) Racy and Beverly (Len) Schell; 14 nieces and nephews; and 15 great-nieces and nephews.
Tom graduated from Guardian Angels, Clawson, Michigan (eighth grade) in 1956; and from Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., in 1960. He earned his B.A. degree in Political Science from Michigan State University in 1968. Tom served his country in the U.S. Air Force as Airman Basic/Radio Operator (Cryptographics). He was a Cryptic Accountant and Security Clerk. He served on active duty at Lackland and Sheppard Air Force Bases in Texas from 1961-1965, and on Reserve Duty from 1965-1967.
Tom had a 42-year Retail Management Career. He began his career with Sears Roebuck & Co. in Springfield, in 1968, and joined The Rudin Co. Department Store in Mount Vernon, in 1970. He started his career with the Rudin Co. as Merchandise Buyer and quickly advanced to Store Manager. Tom worked 24 years in the Rudin building (now The Buchwald Center), serving as Store Manager and Regional Manager through the transition from the Rudin Co. to Uhlmans Department Store to Stage Stores Inc. Following the Stage Stores buy-out, Tom continued his Retail Management/Sales career with Rhodes Furniture and Sofa Express of Newark/Mansfield, and Frontroom Furniture/Bedrooms First of Columbus. He retired from Bedrooms First in April 2010, joining his wife in retirement.
Tom was a longtime member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, and was always a very active member of the Mount Vernon community. His community service included Habitat for Humanity (mission service); Knox County Chamber of Commerce; Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival (President); Mount Vernon Jaycees (Vice President; Received the DiGiovanni Award for Ohio Jaycees Top Program in 1977); Knox County Health Planning Council; Mount Vernon Rotary; Heritage Centre Merchants Association (President); Knox County Mental Health Association; Mount Vernon American Cancer Society; Students in Free Enterprise, Mount Vernon Nazarene College; State Chairman, Ohio Junior Miss, 1977.
Tom loved life and was a humble, loving, caring man! He was an avid reader and particularly enjoyed reading books on history, politics, historical fiction, and biographies of presidents and important historical figures, as well as several daily newspapers. Tom enjoyed keeping a well-manicured yard, helping his wife, Linda, with the house, getting together with family, and working out at Body Basics. He especially enjoyed spending time with Linda, whether at home, working out, or going somewhere!
Calling hours will be Sunday, Dec. 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Dilley-Lasater Funeral Home, Mount Vernon. Funeral service will be held Monday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m., at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Mount Vernon, followed by a military burial by the Knox County Joint Veterans Council in Mound View Cemetery. A reception will follow at the church at 3 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Congregational United Church of Christ, Habitat for Humanity (Mount Vernon) and the Knox County Humane Society.
To express a condolence or share a memory with the Baker family, please visit http://www.dilleylasater.com.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.