Robert (Bob) Baker

Date of Birth

August 27th, 1930

Date of Death

May 6th, 2015

Memorial Meeting

Sacremento Friends Meeting

Minute

Bob as he was known by all, except his mother who called him Bobbie, was born in Phoenix AZ and then grew up in Arkansas on a small holding that supplied the family with food and a very modest living. He was preceded in death by his older brother Jim, younger brothers Doub and Doug and his parents.

All of his life he loved to solve problems, like building a boat to get across the creek (river) on the way to school, getting help for folks at the Biomedical Clinic in Mexico, and many more problems large and small.

One day when he and his siblings were working in the cotton field they saw an airplane fly overhead. All work stopped and his Dad was very taken with the idea of flight. All of the children learned to fly and had their own planes except for his brother Bill. Bob attended school in Arkansas and then at age 17 enlisted in the Air Force. Bob used his planes to commute to

the bay area to sell juicing machines. He was a fifty year member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and never forgot the lessons he learned from flying. For all of Bob’s life he remained a dedicated learner, wanting to learn something every day.

Having completed his military service, he worked at the saw mill in Willits, CA. Later he went to Mexico to learn Spanish and was able to speak it fluently up until his death. During the mid fifties he traveled all around Mexico getting to know the people and enjoying the food and making some money selling trailers, cars and anything else that had value. It was in Mexico he learned about carrot juice and became an enthusiastic adherent.

Bob was happiest when helping others. He helped by bringing health to all with the sale of juicing machines. He gave advice on how to do a myriad of carpentry tasks, safe driving, safe flying, saving money and meditation. The work camps at Quaker Center and Sierra Friends Center were for many years his love and he got pleasure from bringing his tools and expertise to complete many projects. At Berkeley Meeting he helped cover the walkway between the Meetinghouse and the Education building so all could be dry in the rainy season. He did all kinds of construction jobs for folks and it gave pleasure both to him and the recipient.

Bob learned to paint in the early seventies and used oil on canvas for landscapes. Later he learned how to do portraits. He loved to show his work. His illness prevented him from completing his portrait of Pete Seeger.

Humor was at the center of his outlook on life and in all his social contacts. He wanted to write a joke book but his final illness prevented him from doing that. He carried a joke in his wallet for servers in restaurants. In any store he would stop people to talk and they would end up laughing together.

During the early 1990’s he learned to meditate with the Maharishi and would use meditation to help with interpersonal difficulties. When Bob met Liz Amen they fell in love. Liz was a Quaker. Attending Quaker Meeting was not a problem for Bob. He appreciated the inclusiveness of Quakers and attended regularly until he was too ill to come. He liked many of the programs at yearly meeting (Pacific Yearly Meeting) which he attended regularly until his health prohibited further attendance as of 2009.

Bob served on the Board of Pacific Friends Outreach Society for eight years and contributed both expertise and materiel for the Quaker Oaks Farm gazebo which is used by the young people every spring.

A strong family man, he enjoyed spending time with his family and with his step children, cousins, nieces and nephews. The youngest ones had the most fun with Bob.

Bob’s life was defined by kindness, cheerful humor, a love of art and painting, family, spirit and learning.

[submitted by Gary Miller of Sacramento Meeting]