|Birth: ||Oct. 15, 1928|
|Death: ||Sep. 23, 2008|
Longtime Alaska resident Travis Lloyd Baker Jr., 79, died peacefully Sept. 23, 2008, at his Anchorage home after a courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis. His sons were at his side.
A family memorial gathering will take place in Webster Parish, La., where he will be buried with full military honors near his family that preceded him.
Travis was born Oct. 15, 1928, in Bellevue Oil Field in Bossier Parish, La., to Mary Etta Powell and Travis Lloyd Baker Sr.
At age 16, he graduated from Bellevue High School on May 23, 1945. Six days later, he left home to serve his country in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Prairie.
At the conclusion of World War II, Travis entered the reserves, attended Louisiana Tech and worked as a gandy dancer for the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1950, Travis returned to active duty during the Korean War and served on the U.S.S. Tappahannock.
In 1953, he returned to civilian life as an electronics technician for Boeing Airplane Co. From 1957 to 1960, he worked in the experimental shop developing the profile avoidance radar for the B-52 Stratofortress. In 1960, Travis volunteered for duty with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Antarctica to develop a balloon tracking system to monitor weather. In 1962, he moved to Alaska to work for weather stations along the Aleutian Chain until he retired in 1993.
Soon after his return to Alaska, Travis married Geraldine Lavonne Wolkau on April 29, 1996, and they had two sons, Travis Lloyd III and Kevin Paul.
He enjoyed many outdoor endeavors, including the Alaska standards of boating and fishing as well as organic gardening and taking care of their special pets, Little Bit, KC, OC and Baby. As an avid reader, Travis enjoyed Westerns and any gardening or self-sufficiency periodicals he could find. Travis spent most of his evenings and weekend mornings in the kitchen cooking for his family many of the staples he enjoyed during his Louisiana childhood, including scratch biscuits, round steak and beans. Bowling remained his favorite pastime throughout his life, one that he enjoyed into his 79th year.
Travis is survived by his wife of 42 years, Geraldine; sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Billy Crawford of Haughton, La.; sons and daughters-in-law, Travis and Sylvia of Port Charlotte, Fla., and Kevin and Sheila of Anchorage; and his "beautiful" grandchildren, Hunter and Haley of Anchorage.
"Dad exuded the quiet honor and dignity of a southern gentleman with the work ethic and belief that protecting and providing for his family remain his primary responsibility," his family said. "Even to his last breath, he ensured that he did well and everyone would be okay."
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Providence Hospice.
Arrangements were made with Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Chapel.
(bio by: Sandra "Sandy" Annette Holder Whitten)
Geraldine Lavonne Wolkau Baker (1925 - 2009)*
Pleasant Valley Cemetery
Maintained by: Ken Nichols
Originally Created by: KBounds
Record added: Jun 12, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53575575