The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Michael Alan Baker, 72

 

April 20, 2022

MIKE BAKER
October 5, 1949 - April 16, 2022

Michael Alan Baker went to be with the Lord on Friday, April 16, 2022, at Saint James Hospital in Butte, MT with his family by his side. Mike was 72 years old.

Mike was born in Galion, Ohio on October 5th, 1949, to Lee and Marjorie Baker. His parents relocated him and three of his siblings (Barbara, Charlie, and Nancy) to Whitehall, MT in 1958. The eldest son, Pat, remained in Ohio where he raised a family to whom Mike was very close.

Mike graduated from Whitehall High School in 1969 and shortly thereafter married his high school sweetheart, Sylvia Walks. The couple moved to Ohio after marrying but soon returned to Whitehall, where they raised two daughters (Michelle and Laurie). Michelle and Laurie are forever grateful for a loving and nurturing upbringing.

Mike worked for a time at the Berkley Pit and later started Baker Excavating, which he ran until he retired. He was a master equipment operator, even winning the state of Montana Backhoe Rodeo in 1995. Mike had an uncanny ability to solve mechanical and carpentry problems, often from spare parts he'd collected from various jobs and old equipment. When the girls were young, he converted an old school bus into a motor home for the family to stay in at the Madison County fair. In recent years, he built a double-decker trailer to haul his side-by-side and tricycle to AZ for the winter.

To know Mike was to love him. He was a kind and gentle soul with a witty personality, who was dedicated to his family, friends, and community. He was always willing to help anyone in need and loved being the life of the party. He was happiest when he was with family. Vacations were spent visiting relatives. His local nieces and nephews thought of him as a bonus dad, and he treated them as his own. He was immensely proud of his girls and frequently bragged about them and his five grandchildren.

Later in life, Mike reconnected with Rayelene Keeney Mikes who he had dated in middle school. They shared a deep love and committed to each other on March 3, 2018. They brought each other much joy for the past five years, enjoying winters in Bullhead City, AZ, and summers in Whitehall.

Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Marjorie Baker, and siblings Charlie Baker and Barbara Schai. He is survived by Rayelene, his daughters, Michelle (Calvin) Johnson and Laurie (Kevin) Slovarp, bonus sons Brett Riley, Chad Riley, and Shane Mikes, grandchildren, Alex, Connor, and Meagan Johnson, and Luke and Brinlee Slovarp, nine grandchildren on Rayelene's side, siblings Pat (Bev) Baker, and Nancy (Don) Hall, as well as many other family and friends who loved him dearly.

Mike will be missed by so many. A memorial service will be held on April 27 at 11 AM at the Trinity Methodist Church in Whitehall. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the donor's choice.

 

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