Billie Gene Baker

Billie Gene Baker passed away peacefully with family by his side on Sunday, June 12, from “stiff-person syndrome” and Alzheimer’s complications.
Bill, son of Floyd and Mildred Baker, was born on Dec. 15, 1939, in Crane. He lived in Crane until his family moved to Fair Grove in the early 1950’s. He went to Fair Grove school and graduated in 1958.
After graduation, he went into the Army in the 82nd Airborne stationed in Germany from 1958-1961. Before going to Germany, he did boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Bragg and Fort Benning. Before he ever landed in a plane, he made 32 jumps over Germany. He loved to tell the story that people thought paratroopers were saying “Geronimo” when they jumped, but in fact they were saying “I don’t want to go.”
When he came home, he married his high school sweetheart, Sharlene Taylor, on July 15, 1961. They were married just shy of 61 years.
Baker was saved at 11 years of age in November, 1950, at Shiloh Baptist Church in Crane. In August of 1979, he moved his membership to Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church where he was an active member until his health forbid him.
After cutting wood with his father-in-law, he went to work at Dayco (now Timken) in Springfield in 1962. He worked there for 40 years retiring in 2002. He then went to work for MFA in Fair Grove for another 10 years retiring again in 2012.
Baker is survived by his wife Sharlene, one daughter and three sons: Chris (Debbie) Baker, Tonnia (Mike) Perry, Kip (Melissa) Baker and Ty (Lisa) Baker; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; brothers Gary (Karen) Baker and J.R. (Marie) Baker; three sisters, Shirley (Jim) Rippy, Carolyn (Bill) Lumley and Donna (Dan) Townsend; sisters- and brothers-in-law, Kent (Beverly) Taylor, Sherry (Ronnie) Todd and Sandra Norton.
Baker was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws Denzil and Ilene Taylor; granddaughter, Talissa Baker; and brothers, Bob, Lonnie and Tom Baker.
Services were at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Greenlawn Funeral Home East. Interment with full military honors followed at Mt. Olive Cemetery. Visitation was from 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 17, 2022 in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mt. Olive Cemetery 10 Baker Lane Fair Grove, Missouri 65648 or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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