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Obituary: Kenneth Roger Baker, Columbus

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Kenneth Roger Baker, age 83, passed from this life February 4, 2014, at Silver Oaks Health Campus, Columbus, Indiana. He was born December 7, 1930, in Wayne County, Kentucky, the eldest child of Braddock Baker and Lora Elva Coomer Baker. Born on a houseboat on the Cumberland River, his parents divorced when he was about 7 and he lived with the Willie and Grace Coomer family for several years, then went to live with his mother in Indianapolis.

He started working for Cummins Engine Company when he was 20 years old. Soon drafted into the Army, he spent two years in Germany during the Korean War, assigned to the 631st Field Artillery. He was discharged in January 1954 and immediately returned to work at Cummins and completed 37 years of service, retiring in 1987. His last major project for Cummins was to help construct the “exploded engine” on display in the corporate office museum.

He married Patricia Craig in St. Paul in 1954 and they had one daughter, Cynthia Baker (Al) McLaughlin, now of Greensburg, Indiana. He married Ellen Davis in 1974 and adopted her two children, Marsha Merritt, now of Cairo, Illinois, and John Baker of Columbus, Indiana.

Kenneth was well known as a person who could fix or build anything and who would help anybody. He was a former Boy Scout Scoutmaster and a member of Sandy Hook United Methodist Church in Columbus, CREAK Club, Columbus Amateur Radio Club, and Diesel Workers Union.

He is survived by his wife, Ellen, all three children, three grandsons, two granddaughters and four great-granddaughters. Also surviving are sisters, June Harcourt Hubbard of Columbus and Judy (Bill) Frazier of Amarillo, Texas; a  brother, Paul Baker of Marshalltown, Iowa; nieces, nephews, and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The funeral will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home on Washington Street with the Rev. Steve Russell officiating. Family and friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to time of service Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will be at Garland Brook Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Bartholomew County Veterans Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions may be made through the funeral home to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.

Online condolences may be sent to Kenneth's family at

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