Lester D Baker was born April 3, 1928, in Etna, Wyoming, to William Alonzo and Blanche Mayberry Baker.
At age 28, he married Shirley Ann Smock. They had seven children together, one of whom unfortunately died at birth. After many years together, this relationship ended. In 1978, he married Syble Beck, adding her four children to our family. During the last few years of his life, he met Cristy Jackson, who enriched his life and became his sweetheart and adventuring partner.
Lester served eight years as a mechanic in the Air Force. He was an avid adventurer, including spending time in Germany and England. When asked why he chose Utah to settle and raise his family, he said you could find every type of geography in Utah; desert, mountains, beaches, anything you could want.
He received his bachelors degree in civil engineering (Utah State University) and was a land surveyor. He and his late brother Lloyd Baker had their own company, licensed and working in Utah, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming. Unknown to many, he designed numerous roadways in Utah and other states.
Lester loved to dance. As a young man, he attended every dance he could and that continued throughout the years. His courtship with Syble started at a dance. He shared his love of dancing with Cristy, and they frequented the Murray, Utah senior center on Thursday nights to enjoy a night of music and dancing. He had a magnanimous personality, much larger than his stature, and was known for making friends with anyone.
Other passions included reflexology, health, and the Constitution. He had a fierce appetite for learning and was interested in many, many subjects. At age 72, he taught himself CAD, a difficult computer program for a draftsman.
In all of his time spent working on farms in Star Valley as a young man, he calculated that he milked cows over 16,000 times, something he shared with pride. He loved fresh fruit; that was always such a treat for him. Among his favorites were cherries and apricots. He was an incurable optimist. When we, as his children, would complain, he would tell us that he walked up hill in the snow both to and from school as a child.
Even with declining health, he always wanted us to know how much he loved us. In almost every conversation, Dad would ask us to tell the others that he loved them and wanted to see them soon. Dad always had a warm, loving hug for us. (We will miss his hugs terribly.)
Lester is preceded in death by his parents, Blanche M. and W. Alonzo Baker; siblings, Lloyd B. Baker, Carl B. Baker, Vella Baker, Dennis A. Baker, Margie B. Ells, Rex B. Baker; daughter, Christina Baker; spouse, Syble Beck Baker. He is survived by siblings, Wayne Baker, Elcie Walker; children, L. Daniel Baker, W. Bruce Baker, Ronald D. Baker (Linda Bianchi), Barbara A. Baker, Timothy S. (Debbie) Baker, Lisa M. (Paul) Marsh; 12 grand-children and 7 great-grand-children. Also surviving is former spouse, Shirley Baker; loving partner, Cristy Jackson; step-children, Maxine Palmer, Jim Beck, Patty Henry, Sally Webb; 9 step-grandchildren and several step-great-grandchildren.
Our dear father, brother, friend and companion, Lester D Baker, passed away on August 19, 2019. A viewing and service will be held in both Salt Lake City, Utah and Star Valley, Wyoming. On Friday, August 30, 2019, the viewing will be from 11:00 am to 12:45 pm with a service will follow at 1:00 pm at the LDS Chapel at 3400 South 1100 East in Millcreek, Utah. On Saturday, August 31, 2019, the viewing will be from 11:00 am to 12:45 pm, Service to follow at 1:00 pm at the Etna, Wyoming LDS Chapel. Interment in the Etna, Wyoming cemetery afterwards.
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