Robert Renz Baker, unwavering friend, husband, and dad, went home peacefully to be with his Lord on Wednesday morning at 1:25 a.m. He had fought a long and hard battle with emphysema and asthma, but he could not stand against the final strike of cancer. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. The North Butte Masonic Lodge was forefront in his life, his committing to it for over thirty years, twice as master, and serving it until last year when he could not be sure he could attend regularly. For many he will forever be known as the power behind the lodge's scholarship program. He worked for it; he encouraged others to do the same. He was always there, always working, always with a warm smile, a handshake, and a pat on the back.
He loved his fishing with friends in Baja and his visits to Costa Rica. A lifetime sportsman, Bob founded the Gridley Sportsman's Club and encouraged children to fish every year. In his younger days he was an avid hunter, but in later years he and a few good buddies took to shooting squirrels in local orchards, much to the joy of the farmers. But the highlights of his life were his years as a dozer operator for California's Department of Forestry and his travels with his family to Italy, to Central America, and finally to Alaska.
Bob became a Christian formally in 2012, when he was baptized on his deck with a few intimate friends and family watching, but he was a Christian at heart long before that day. He had become a committed Christian, firm in his faith, and told his pastor he spoke with the Lord daily. He is survived by his wife Lynne of 33 years; his daughter Olivia Wilson, her husband Jeremy and his only granddaughter Jenna; his sister- and brother-in-law Susan and Bill Shaul of Sutter; loving nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews; and uncountable dear friends. The family thanks those good friends who continued to visit him regularly in his last months.
Born June 15, 1932, Bob was 85. Even in the hospital, he continued to call friends, talk to them, wish them well. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 16, 2017, at the North Butte Masonic Hall, Sycamore and Vermont Streets, in Gridley at 11 a.m. with time for those who knew Bob well to share memories. Lunch will follow. You are home, Bob, but we shall miss you terribly.