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November 27, 1947 ~ June 3, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
Mike Baker, a cherished husband, father, and friend, was born on November 27, 1947, in a farmhouse on the banks of the Mississippi River. He grew up in a nearby small town in southeast Missouri, where the values instilled in him by those muddy waters and the close-knit community became an integral part of his character.
After graduating from High School, Mike selflessly volunteered to serve his country by joining the Army. His love for his country and unwavering sense of duty meant more to him than the opinions of others. Although he witnessed the horrors of war, his deepest fear was realized when he tragically lost his first child shortly after her birth. The loss shook him to his very core. However, two years later, Mike was blessed with a son, bringing light and hope back into his life.
In 1976, Mike met and married the love of his life, Molly. He wholeheartedly embraced Molly's children as his own, adopting them less than a year after their marriage. His desire to give them his last name and make them his forever demonstrated his profound love and commitment to his family. Sixteen years later, Mike and Molly expanded their family even further by adopting another child, bringing the total number of his beloved children to six.
Mike found joy in various pursuits such as working on his property, crafting wood, embarking on cross-country drives, indulging in vintage westerns, savoring BBQ and fish fries, and relishing in the simple pleasure of ice cream. However, what he cherished above all else were his faith in God, the love of his family, and his unwavering patriotism for his country.
On June 3, 2023, Mike peacefully passed away at home, surrounded by his loved ones.
Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Arnold U. and Patty Louise Baker, his daughter Tracy Lee Baker, and his grandson Army Specialist Alexander Michael Johnson. He is survived by his devoted wife, Molly Baker, and his children Michael Shane and Cindy Baker, Matthew and Martina Baker, Myriah and Bradley Johnson, Marcus and Jackie Baker, and Elijah Baker. He will be forever cherished in the hearts of his grandchildren Christopher Michael Baker, Kaylin Johnson, Gabriel Baker, Tatiana Baker, and Dominick Baker. Mike is also survived by his brothers Steven Baker and Daniel Baker, sister Melinda Cave, as well as numerous friends and extended family members.
A memorial service will be held at TBA Church, 1815 County Rd 540A, Lakeland, Florida 33813, on Tuesday, June 27th at 11:00 a.m. In honor of Mike's vibrant spirit, the family invites attendees to wear their favorite tropical shirts as they come together to celebrate his remarkable life. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests considering a donation to organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Mission 22, or Cornerstone Hospice, which held a special place in Mike's heart.
May his soul find eternal peace, and may his memory forever inspire us to embrace love, family, and service to others.