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 Melvin Sterling “Boomer” Baker

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Melvin Sterling “Boomer” Baker

Birth
Lake Arthur, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 4 Feb 2007 (aged 88)
Lancaster, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial California City, Kern County, California, USA
Plot WL Lot 41 7
Memorial ID 17831012 View Source
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Valley institution Baker dead at 88
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press on Tuesday, February 6, 2007.
By RICH BREAULT
Valley Press Senior Feature Writer



LANCASTER - Melvin Sterling Baker - retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, retired school superintendent, vocational educator and Antelope Valley personality - died Sunday night at Antelope Valley Healthcare following a long battle with cancer. Baker was 88.
Executive director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade from 1984 to 1989, Baker also worked as a school superintendent at the Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union School District, as a real estate appraiser and as a baseball umpire. Known as "Boom-Boom" and "Boomer," nicknames attributable to his booming voice following a hearing loss in the military, Baker was an avid handball and racquetball player who wrote a column, "Handball Harry," in the now-defunct Antelope Valley Ledger-Gazette.

A Baker friend, Jim McGuire, who was a member of the Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union School District board when it hired Baker as superintendent in 1975, said Baker was a personality people remember.

"He provided memories for many people," McGuire said. "He made friends around the world.

"I believe Mel was put here on earth to serve people. He served them while he was in the military, in education and just helping people in any way he could.

"While some people spend their life making money and enemies, Mel quietly helped others. He was never in it for the money. He always took care of himself last."

Born Aug. 16, 1918 in Lake Arthur, La., Baker joined the National Guard in 1940 and became a private in the horse cavalry. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and later joined the Air Force Reserve.

Baker held a degree from Syracuse University, graduating in 1950. He served 38 years in the military, retiring as an Air Force lieutenant colonel in 1978.

Baker was noted for his expertise on many subjects and his penchant for telling stories. He told of his stint as an umpire in the Negro Leagues, of his World War II duty in South America, playing football in Mexico at age 72 and a wealth of other stories on many and varied subjects.

After living in Palmdale for many years, Baker moved to California City about 16 years ago. He ran for the state Assembly in the 34th District in 1992, finishing seventh in an eight-candidate field for the Republican nomination.

Baker served as director of military retirees at Edwards Air Force Base and was involved in the California City Chamber of Commerce, the California City Historical Society and the East Kern Economic Development Agency.

Baker's wife of 38 years, Lois, died in 1999. He is survived by six children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His children are Patti Chezek of Simi Valley, Roy Cox of Westmoreland, Tenn., Shawn Brockman of Washington, Kelly Baker of Rosamond, Marc Baker of Seneca Falls, N.Y., and KaRi Wymer of Grand Haven, Mich.

Chezek said funeral and gravesite services are being arranged.

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Thursday services set for Mel ‘Boomer' Baker

Colorful Antelope Valley figure
DESERT NEWS STAFF REPORT
CALIFORNIA CITY — Funeral services will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Community Church for Mel "Boomer" Baker, a colorful Antelope Valley and California City resident who passed away Sunday evening.
Baker, who was 88, was well-known in California City for the mini-history lessons he delivered when called upon to lead the flag salute at meetings of the California City Economic Development Corporation and other organizations.
His booming voice was also frequently heard declaiming on various issues at city council and other meetings.
A retired U.S. Air Force colonel and former school superintendent, among other professions, Baker moved to California City 16 years ago from Palmdale. From 1984 to 1989 he served as executive director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade. He was also superintendent of the Hughes-Elizabeth Lake school district, a real estate appraiser, and a baseball umpire.
Locally, Baker served on the board of directors of the California City Economic Development Corporation and was active in the East Kern Historical Museum Society and the California City Chamber of Commerce.
He retired from the Air Force in 1978 after serving 38 years. He served for several years as director of retiree services at Edwards Air Force Base. He joined the National Guard in 1940 and was a Cavalry private, later serving in the Army Air Corps and the Air Force Reserve. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1950.
Mel Baker was preceded in death by his wife Lois of 38 year, and is survived by the couple's children, Patti Chezek of Simi Valley, Roy Cox of Westmoreland, Tennessee; Shawn Brock man of Washington, Kelly Baker of Rosamond, Marc Baker of Seneca Falls, N.Y., KaRi Wymer of Grand Haven, Michigan, and numerous grand-children and great-grand-children.
Rev. Ron Sparks will officiate at the services.


Social Security Death Index

Name: Melvin S. Baker
SSN:
Last Residence: 93505 California City, Kern, California
Born: 16 Aug 1918
Died: 4 Feb 2007
State (Year) SSN issued:
New York (Before 1951 )


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