Gene Allen Baker
Born: December 16, 1945
Resided: Avera Sister James Care Center, Yankton, SD
Died: January 8, 2020
Gene Baker, age 74, died Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton, South Dakota, with his daughter by his side, after a three month battle with a rare autoimmune disease.
Gene Allen Baker, son of Allen and Margaret (Ireland) Baker was born Sunday, December 16, 1945 in Sioux City, Iowa. Gene spent his first five years in Homer and Arlington, Nebraska. His family then moved to Scotland, SD where he attended grade school and high school and was a member of the United Methodist Church. In high school he was an all-state football player and was chosen to the 1st Team Tri-State Region of SD, NE and Iowa. In high school he was also chosen for all state choir, student body president and class president. After graduating from Scotland High School in 1963 Gene attended Southern State College in Springfield, SD where he was student body vice president and all-conference football. He graduated with a degree in business education.
After college Gene began his teaching career in Wausa, Nebraska where he taught business and coached football, basketball, and track. In the summer he managed and was a lifeguard at the Wausa pool and coached the swim team. In 1968 he was the football class C coach of the year and the team finished the season as State Champs with a record of 8-0. On July 1, 1975 Gene started a new career as a State Farm agent and was an agent for nearly 45 years with offices in Wausa and Bloomfield.
Gene was on the economic development board and was instrumental in bringing the assisted living center to Wausa where he currently served as vice chair. Other past positions that he held were volunteer fireman and EMT, president of the golf course, chairman of the United Methodist Church board and member of the community club. Gene was a strong believer in academic and vocational education, supported by strong activities.
Music was also a large part of Gene’s life, from the high school choir to the Methodist church choir and the community choir of Wausa. As a young man he enjoyed the male singing voices of Tennessee Ernie Ford, Elvis and later enjoyed the Three Tenors and classic solos by Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. Gene enjoyed anything outdoors and was often working on a home or gardening project at his Lewis & Clark Lake house. He loved fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, wood working, snorkeling and traveling to Dallas and Arizona for short trips in the winter. He also enjoyed golfing and looked forward to getting out on the course with friends and eating out at Murdo’s. Gene was a fan of all sports and those who knew him often heard him talk about his grandkids’ sporting events, which he attended any chance he had. He was very proud of all of his grandkids’ accomplishments.
He is survived by his daughter Sarah (Kyle) Streich and three grandchildren Carlie, Drew and Lily of Norfolk, Ne; sister Jan (John) Fox of Hideaway, Texas; nephew Jeff (Tiffany) Bietz of Perryton, Texas; one aunt and many cousins and good friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant sister.
He was a follower of Jesus Christ. We know he is at peace and we will see him again.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
1/17/2020 Tracie Moeller Sioux Falls, SD
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have many fond memories of visiting with Gene at the Summit Center- he always had a kind word to say about everyone. He will be sadly missed. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
1/13/2020 Nancy (Foss) Penk Hopkins, Minnesota
Gene lived a life that reflected many his skills and interests. He used them to enhance lives and communities. It was a wonderful obituary. Sincere condolences to family and friends. God's comfort to you.
1/13/2020 Dan Custis Gold Canyon, AZ
Growing up with Gene and his Dad as neighbors provided me with early youth inspiration. That inspiration led me to follow in his footsteps as a lifeguard, athletics and extra curricular at SHS. Condolences to all of the Baker family.
1/13/2020 Don Mach Katy, TX
Gene was two years ahead of me at SHS and recall him as really one of the great guys! Always had a smile and nice things to say to everyone. The Baker's were a great family and his Dad one of my favorite teachers. Condolences to the family and may you know that Gene made the world a better place.
1/13/2020 Jim and Karen Hess Le Mars, IA
We were so sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. We are so glad we were able to spend some time with him at our annual Scotland High School “get-together” in AZ last winter. Our sympathies and prayers to the family.
1/13/2020 Laverne Diede Freeman, South Dakota
I am saddened to tell my Cousin Gene goodbye. He was a great guy, admired by those who knew him. My sincerest sympathy is extended to Sarah and Janice and their families. May you mourn in the knowledge that Gene was a child of God. And, very special he is!!!!
1/12/2020 Marilyn Kokesh ,
I am sorry to hear of Gene's death. He was such a supporter of my husband, Dennis and my family of daughters at SHS. He wrote my daughter such a nice note when she graduated from high school. He will be missed. My condolences to his family. RIP. Gene.
1/12/2020 Diane Hofer Beresford, SD
So saddened to hear of Gene’s passing. So enjoyed our visits in AZ the past two years. He had worked so hard on his rehab after his stroke... very proud he’d been able to walk those 9 holes of golf. Prayers to his family and friends as you gather to celebrate his life.
1/12/2020 Wayne and Jean Ireland Sioux Falls, SD
Our sympathy to all family and friends
1/12/2020 Roger and Liz Schroeder Bloomfield , Nebraska
Our heart felt sympathy and prayers for comfort and peace to the family. We always enjoyed our friendship with Gene.
1/11/2020 Ruth and Rod Johnson Wausa, NE
Our deepest sympathies to your families. Gene was a wonderful guy and I'll sure miss seeing him at the golf course.
1/11/2020 Sharon Hirsch Orth ,
Thanks Gene for convincing me I had the confidence to dive into the Scotland swimming pool and then making me do it! Good memories from the class of '63.
1/11/2020 Bob and Marti Ritter Brookings, SD
Sarah, Janice and family,
We were so sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. He’s one of Bob’s favorite cousins and he has so many happy memories of growing up with him. May God comfort you with happy memories. We are praying for you.
Marti and Bob
Monday, January 13, 2020
Goglin Funeral Home
Yankton, South Dakota
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Wausa United Methodist Church
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Monday, January 13, 2020
Goglin Funeral Home
Yankton, South Dakota