|Birth: ||Oct. 9, 1917|
|Death: ||Sep. 23, 2010|
Frank Baker, 92, died peacefully in his home on Treasure Island, Florida, on Thursday morning, September 23. He was born October 9, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, to Franklin Charles Baker and Florence E. Clifford.
Funeral services will be 11AM Monday, September 27, 2010 at Church By The Sea, 13701 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, Dr. Armand Weller officiating. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Memory Gardens. Family will receive friends at David C. Gross Funeral Home in St. Petersburg on Sunday from 5-7PM.
Frank is survived by his wife, Sylvia of Treasure Island; his daughter, Margaret (Robert) Virkus of Reston, VA; grandson Jeremy (Abra) Williams of San Francisco, CA; and two great-grandchildren, Peter and Madison Williams. He is also survived by two step-children, Kim and Jeff Davis.
Educated in the Chicago public school system , Frank turned down a scholarship at Northwestern to support his grandmother, Margaret Eva Hoover Baker, who raised him after the death of his mother in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919.
In 1942, Frank joined the United States Army Air Forces, a period he would later describe as the "greatest experience of my life." As Captain of a B-29, he flew over the Himalayan Mountains delivering gasoline to China, an arduous mission known as "flying the hump." During his remarkable service to his country he received the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, Frank moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, with his first wife, Virginia Gustavson Baker of Chicago, and in 1959 founded Baker Industries, a successful screening and aluminum business. He was a mentor to his employees, several of whom later started their own companies with his guidance and support.
Frank was a lover of Big Band era music; also an avid sports fan, ever supporting his Cubs, Gators and Dolphins. He sponsored a Little League team because he wanted to foster character in young people, and he was a regular supporter of the All Children's Hospital, every Christmas buying, wrapping and delivering gifts to the patients. He called himself extraordinarily lucky throughout life, though he lived by the creed, "The harder you work, the luckier you're going to get."
Frank made numerous friends over his lifetime and he will be missed by many, especially by his family who love him greatly.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to All Childrens Hospital.
David C. Gross Funeral Homes, Central Avenue Chapel is serving the family.
Woodlawn Memory Gardens
Created by: Susan H. Davis
Record added: Sep 25, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59170653