Robert Maurice “Bud” Baker
Oct. 2, 1934-Oct. 1, 2021
Robert Maurice Baker, known affectionately as “Bud” to most, passed away the day before his 87th birthday at Renown Medical Center in Reno from complications of Covid 19 and pneumonia.
He was born in Nord, California to Ted and Marie Baker; the fourth of five children, and their only son. He grew up in the farming communities of Vina and Dairyville where he helped tend the family’s large garden, “milk the cows and slop the hogs.” As a young man he worked with his dad in the land leveling and farming business in the Sacramento valley.
In 1958 he married Gwen (Graves) Spangle, and they moved from Dairyville to Milford in the spring of 1959 where they worked and raised their family. They operated a custom farming business with Robert’s parents for many years; working the hay fields all over Lassen County. They hired several local young men to help operate and maintain the farming equipment who became life long family friends. Robert also worked as a mechanic, leveled land and built reservoirs during the off-season and worked on projects in conjunction with the Soil Conservation District.
Robert served six years in the National Guard and was a staff sergeant for two. He retired from the workforce as a respected custom farmer, heavy equipment operator, mechanic and talented welder. He volunteered his mechanic services to the Milford Fire Department for years. Before retiring, he worked at Susanville Motors as their John Deere specialist and was known as “Mr. John Deere” by many. If friends or family had tractor or automotive problems, he was their go-to guy for advice that was gladly given with a good dose of humor.
He supported the Milford Seniors, the Milford Volunteer Fire Department, and Milford Community Association, even building the pad on which the building was erected. Robert and Gwen picked up and helped distribute USDA food commodities for the Milford residents for years.
Bud loved the farming and ranching community and the many friends he made over the past 60 years here, and was proud when he and Gwen were honored as the 2019 Old Timers of the Year at the Lassen County Fair and parade.
He was an avid reader of western novels; he also liked deer hunting, good country western music, baseball and watching the Indy 500. He was a proud supporter of the NRA and was happy to share his knowledge of guns, farming and mechanics. He loved beef, chocolate and black pepper on just about everything. Bud was humble, kind, and a loving family man who took great pleasure in spending time with his kids and grandkids and blessed us all with his wonderful sense of humor.
Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Marie; son Robert “Bobby” Baker; sisters Vernice Tinker, Joyce Kelly and Virginia Rogers; and son-in-law Ken Barker.
He is survived by his loving wife Gwen of 63 years; son Richard Spangle (Beven); daughters Kathy Barker and Della Smith (Paul); grandchildren Olivia Spangle, Kurt and Desiree Barker, Gary, Paul and Greg Smith, and Monica Hess; 13 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Marilyn Kliewer, numerous nieces and nephews, and many good friends. He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
The family would like to request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Robert’s memory, or to another favorite charity.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Milford Community Association building at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 followed by a potluck lunch and fellowship.