William R. Baker, 83, a resident of Portsmouth, NH for 12 years, died Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Webster at Rye.
He was born on February 13, 1929 in Woodsfield, OH, the youngest son of the late Ernest Clyde and Nora Edna (Bott) Baker. Bill’s mother passed away when he was nine and soon after Bill and his father went to live in Rhode Island to be closer to family.
Bill graduated in 1947 from South Kingstown High School in Wakefield, RI. He received his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island in 1957 and an MBA in Finance from Babson College, Wellesley Hills, MA in 1970.
He served as a Sergeant in the United States Army during the Korean War from November 10, 1950 to October 31, 1952, working as a mechanic in the motor pool.
Bill met his wife, Mary Cecelia McKenna, from West Warwick, RI prior to serving in the Army. They were married at St. James Church, West Warwick, RI on June 29, 1957. They eventually settled in Sudbury, MA where they resided for 32 years, before moving to Portsmouth, NH.
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Bill worked in finance for several large companies including Eastman Kodak, Raytheon Corporation, Standard-Thomson Corporation, SW Industries, Inc. and Arthur D. Little, Inc. Prior to his retirement, Bill held the position of Controller for American Power Devices, Inc. in North Andover, MA.
He was an extra-class ham radio operator along with his wife, Mary, with the call sign KK1F, and Mary holding call sign KK1G. Bill loved the ocean, swimming and camping with his family on Cape Cod or at Papoose Pond in ME. He was mechanically inclined and could repair almost anything. He was an amateur photographer, enjoyed Popular Science Magazine and liked to tend to his vegetable garden. He took pleasure in bird watching and putting out seed for the birds, especially the cardinals, which were his favorite bird. He was a sports enthusiast and faithfully watched the Boston Red Sox and Patriots games. Bill had a musical ear and enjoyed the music of Mantovani, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Patsy Cline and Karen Carpenter. He was a member of the Lady of Fatima Parish in Sudbury, MA and also attended services at St. Bridget’s Parish in Maynard, MA. He was a kind and gentle man, and always watched out for the underdog. Bill was devoted to his wife, Mary and his family.
In addition to his wife, Mary, of nearly 55 years, survivors include four children, Ellen M. Baker of Newmarket, Andrea L. Wilson of Rye, C. Scott Baker and his wife, Ellen, of Framingham, MA, and Susan F. Palmer of Waltham, MA; nine grandchildren, Liam Wilson of Rye, Eric, Bridget, Diana, Christopher, Sarah and John Baker all of Framingham, MA, Kirsten Palmer of Arlington, MA, and Dylan Palmer of Waltham, MA; and sister-in-law, R.K. McKenna of Maynard, MA.
The family will hold a private Celebration of Life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. (Association of Research and Enlightenment), 215 67th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, or the New Hampshire SPCA, PO Box 196, 104 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, NH 03885.