William Fred Baker, 76, of Dexter, Missouri, left for the big golf game in the sky on Thursday, January 22, 2015. He was born on March 4, 1938 to Gervis and Ethel Kirby Baker in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. “Billy Fred” was loved dearly by his parents, as he was their only child.
His father, an Engineer, was charged with building nuclear plants for the DuPont Company, as a result, Billy Fred attended a different high school each year but still managed to win a State Championship in football at each individual high school. In addition he played basketball and baseball. He graduated from Montague High School in Michigan. He attended Michigan State University on a football scholarship, where he played with teammate Bubba Smith. He transferred to Central Michigan where he became “Biff” after the coach accidentally wrote “Biff Baker” on the stat board in the locker room for the character, Biff Baker, played by Alan Hale Jr. (better known as the skipper on Gillian’s Island) a popular TV crime detective. His dad loved the reference and the name Biff stuck. At Central Michigan, he went on to win a National Football Championship. Biff was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, ROTC, and achieved both his Masters and PHD in Biology.
After college his service in the Air Force took him to desert of Libya South Africa. When he left Libya he sold some of his belongings to a young Muammar Gaddafi. He then went to the Aerospace Medical Health Center in San Antonio, Texas where he shook the hand of President John F. Kennedy only the day before the president was assassinated. At the Aerospace Center we worked in the Dental program with Sam the Chimpanzee. Sam, named for the acronym for School of Aerospace Medicine was sent into space on the Mercury mission.
Biff found his true love in his wife, Jeannie Baker. On their first date they went dancing, as they jitter bugged around the floor, they looked at each other and said, “It feels like we have been doing this together our whole lives” and they would. Partners for life, they were most happy together. They enjoyed tennis, golf, boating, vacations, dancing, entertaining, and just spending time together. They were peas in a pod. Biff, who loved is mother with his whole heart, paid Jeannie his biggest compliment many times as he said ”my Mom would have loved you as much as I do”, even though the two would never have the opportunity to meet. Biff and Jeannie continued dancing to the end, some 40 years later.
“Coach Baker” worked as a teacher and football coach in Pattonville, and would later retire as a medical salesman for American McGaw maker of IV pumps.
“Buffalo”, as he was known on the golf course because of his big strong legs, was an excellent golfer. You could find him playing most every day with his friends or his wife. He was part of many golf groups including the 5 B’s: Benny Bill, Breman, Bill & Biff who played together for several decades. He enjoyed many golf trips. Kevin & Terry were the lucky ones as Sedmo or Wiggy always drew the short straw and had to room with the ever snoring "Buffalo".
In the winter, “Buffy” or “Buff” loved to duck hunt. He hunted with many through the years but none more loved than his Demaree family: Doc, Derek, Dax, & Dillon, who will place his ashes in the duck blind. They have graciously renamed the "Lost 80" to “The Buffalo Pit!” He will finally have a duck blind to call his own.
“Sweet William” was lucky not only at love, but with cards as well, Blackjack in particular. Sweet William had friends at every casino in a multi-state area and he and his pals were regulars every Friday.
“Pop” as he was known to his granddaughters Hannah and Sophia, daughter, Lora, and son-in-law Rich, all of Quincy, Illinois, loved his family. Though they lived hundreds of miles apart you would never know it by his participation in their lives. He was seen at every major and minor happening.
As a dad, Biff could be counted on for words of wisdom, “If you run with dogs, you’re going to get fleas” “If you’re going to Hoot with the Owls you’d better be able to get up and soar with the Eagles” He had a saying for everything. He spoiled his only daughter.
He was a Kentucky Wildcat Basketball fan, thru and thru. A Dexter Bearcat fan and an adopted Quincy Notre Dame Raider fan. He never met a ballgame of any sort he didn’t like. He was a member of the Methodist Church and a member of the Masons. He was looking forward to adding “Paw Paw” to his list of names to baby Demaree.
He shared his roses, his jokes, and his smile with many including the ladies at the library. Biff loved to read and in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Keller Public Library, 402 W. Grant, Dexter, MO 63841 in his honor.
He is survived by his wife, Jeannie Baker, his daughter, Lora Baker Marcolla, and son-in-law, Rich, granddaughters Hannah & Sophia. He has two sons, Matt Baker and Chris Baker. He was preceded in death by his parents.
He will be cremated and a memorial plaque will be placed at the Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield.
A celebration of his life will take place in the spring at his home. Everyone will be welcome to come and share in our love of Biff, Buff, Buffy, Sweet William, Pop, Billy Fred, Coach and Paw Paw.
Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names... ~Proverb
Starling Guinn, son of the late Charles Guinn and Erdie McCastlin Guinn, was born on April 29, 1924 in Senath and departed this life on January 27, 2015 at Dexter at the age of 90.
Starling was known as a man of honesty and integrity. His word was his word. He was respected for his common sense and sound advice.
A member of the First Baptist Church, Dexter, for 60 years, he served as a Deacon and taught Sunday school for over 35 years. He has been described as someone who embodied the phrase "walking his talk". He believed in serving others and (even into his 80's) could be found volunteering at Small Wonders Pre-School. He was generous but preferred his kind acts to be anonymous.
Starling served in the Air Force during WW II and the Korean Conflict. His story was chronicled in "Hometown Heroes". He once said his most valuable possession was his draft card because it allowed him to attend and graduate from Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University).
He had a passion for fishing and knew all of the best spots at Wappapello Lake. He and his wife had a cabin there for many years and was known for their fish fry events and hospitality.
His legacy will be the values and wisdom he shared with his family and friends.
On February 7, 1974, he was united in marriage to Betty Collins in Dexter. Mrs. Guinn survives of their residence in Dexter.
Besides his wife he is survived by four daughters and their spouses, Sharon Chase of Avon Lake, Ohio, Debbie and Charles Kennamer of Avon Lake, Ohio, Pamela and Ron Kingston of Euless, Texas, Sherry and Jim Paules of Grapevine, Texas; by one brother, Verlis Guinn of Paragould, Arkansas; by one sister, Georgia Scherer of Benton, Missouri; and by three granddaughters, one grandson and four great-grandsons.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles Guinn and E. J. Guinn and by two sisters, Cynthia Starnes and Sue Johnson.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.
Funeral services will then be conducted on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel with Rev. Don Kennedy officiating. Interment will follow in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that all donations be made to the Stoddard County Children’s Home, Memorial Tribute Fund, P.O. Box 164, Dexter, Missouri 63841.
Dolly had worked for many years as the house parent at the Stoddard County Children's Home. She had attended the New Life Full Gospel Church in Dexter.
On November 15, 1947, she married Lonnie E. Taylor in Piggott, Arkansas. He preceded her in death on February 27, 2007.
Surviving are four sons & spouses, Dennis & BarbaraTaylor of Bloomfield, Missouri, Bruce & Yvonne Taylor of Wappapello, Missouri, Steve & Karen Taylor of Huntsville, Texas, Mark & Sandy Taylor of Neosho, Missouri; eleven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; one sister, Nancy Simmons of Peoria, Arizona; four brothers, Gene Pearcy of Ponca City, Oklahoma, Rudy, Marrion & Darrell Pearcy all of Phoenix, Arizona. Many other relatives and friends also survive.
Friends may call on Thursday, January 29, 2015, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Watkins & Sons Funeral Home in Dexter.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015, at 10:00 am at the Watkins & Sons Chapel in Dexter.
Burial will be in the Bloomfield Cemetery with no graveside services. Watkins & Sons Funeral Service of Dexter, Missouri in charge of arrangements.
Memorials are requested to the Stoddard County Children's Home, P O Box 164, Dexter, MO 63841.
Watkins & Sons Funeral Service
Fred “Buddy” Ward, son of the late Cary Ward and Nanny Jeter Ward was born on March 24, 1911 in Brownsville, Tennessee and departed this life on January 26, 2015 at the Golden Living Center in Dexter at the age of 103.
Mr. Ward was a veteran of the United States Army and served in WW II. He was in the American Calvary in the late 1920’s stationed out of Fort Bliss, Texas. Mr. Ward was of the Baptist faith and a resident of Dexter.
On August 10, 1957, he was united in marriage to Ida Hough in Corinth, Mississippi. Mrs. Ward survives of Dexter.
Besides his wife he is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Charlotte and Rod Vaughn of Dexter and Judy and John Bradshaw of St. Peter’s, Missouri; by one brother, Roy Ward of Bloomfield; by three sisters, Katherine Williams of Dexter, Katie Scism of St. Louis, Missouri and Joy Oliver of Festus, Missouri; by two grandchildren, Nick Hutchison and Christy Sachs and by five great-grandchildren, Ayden Hutchison, Gracie Sachs, Grant Sachs, Will Sachs and Blake Sachs.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by five brothers, Bob Ward, Matt Ward, Jack Ward, Hunter Ward and Finis Ward and by two sisters, Kitty Welch and Leone Bolton.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 1:00 P.M. until 2:00 P.M.
Funeral services will then be conducted on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel with Rev. Kenneth Biggs officiating.
Interment will follow in the Gravel Hill Cemetery.
Jackie Leo Duffie, son of the late Doyal Leo Duffie and Jackie Louise Jenkins Duffie was born on April 27, 1948 in Dexter and departed this life on January 22, 2015 at the St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 66.
Mr. Duffie was a Veteran of the United States Air Force having served in the Vietnam War. After his years in service, he was an aircraft mechanic for numerous private aviation companies. He enjoyed riding motorcycles, classic rock and flying RC airplanes.
He is survived by two daughters, Michelle Scheer of Viola, Kansas and J. Camille Duffie of San Antonio, Texas; by one sister, Stephanie Dailey of Cape Girardeau, Missouri; and by three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 1:30 P.M. until 3:00 P.M.
Funeral services will then be conducted on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 3:00 P.M. in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel.
Interment will follow in the Hagy Cemetery.