Given the circumstances of Ed’s death and in consideration of the number of older folks and people with health conditions who will be in attendance, the family has requested that individuals who are not vaccinated or who have potentially had recent exposure to COVID-19 attend the service through the livestream below. Individuals who are vaccinated and attend in-person are asked to wear a mask.
Edwin Baker, born September 30, 1949, died on February 28, 2022, after suffering from COVID-19, despite being both vaccinated and boosted. A longtime resident of Plano, Texas, Ed grew up in Hartsdale, NY, the much beloved youngest son of the late Douglas A. Baker, and his wife, Clare. An artist and photographer, world traveler, car lover and collector, architectural aficionado, family historian, and old film fanatic, Ed was a generous and caring brother, friend, uncle, and “gruncle,” always ready with the quick aside, who spent his life in the service of others. The son of an Edwardian who grew up in turn-of-the-century England, Ed went to Woodstock—then ended up helping in the medical tent. He moved south to attend Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, from which he was graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in business in 1972. A proud officer and active member of the Iota Theta Chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Centenary, Ed was highly regarded for his support for both TKE and Centenary, as well as for his photography skills, ready humor, and outrageous, if sometimes bawdy, jokes.
After graduation, Ed began the outreach work he would continue for the rest of his life as the Executive Director of the Open Ear Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention hotline that served the Shreveport community. Seeking a larger platform from which to help others, Ed moved to the Dallas area in 1977 to work for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), where he remained until he retired in 2017. A skilled team leader and caring mentor, between 1977 and 2010, Ed helped organize the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day telethon, coordinating corporate sponsors, television station personnel, entertainers, and volunteers for annual broadcasts in Dallas and other major and minor cities across the United States. As the National Director of Organizational Partnerships at MDA, he collaborated with multiple institutions, the most significant of which was the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and Fireserve. He organized fundraisers and benefits, including Shamrocks Against Dystrophy. His work with the IAFF Fill the Boot Program raised as much as $20 million in annual donations. Over his long career, Ed worked with many, many celebrities, politicians, corporate leaders, and scientists. Most important to him, however, were the close relationships he developed with people living with severe neuromuscular diseases and their families, many of whom became lifelong friends.
Ed loved old cars and was President of the Late Great Chevys Club. His most beloved possession was his prize-winning, meticulously restored 1966 yellow Impala convertible. Always ready to reach out to others, he gathered new friends during his many travels. It is said that if Ed passed you on the street, he would remember your name and likely send you a Christmas card. And those cards were legendary—each a hand-drawn and colored portrait of an interesting building or architectural site he had seen that year. He rode camels in North Africa and elephants in Asia, saw the Pyramids in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, the Eiffel tower in Paris, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland and rode the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow with his close friend and fraternity brother, Frank McKay. The walls of his home were covered with photographs of his travels and artwork he had collected from around the world.
A more caring individual never adopted Texas; Ed had a heart as big as the state he loved. He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, Doug and is survived by his loving sister and brother-in-law, Alice and Joseph Scandura, sister-in-law, Dina Baker, seven nieces, one nephew, and 12 great nieces and nephews and many, many, many friends. During his final illness, he was supported by the unfailing and tireless efforts of his long-time friends Donnie Herrin and Romy Langenecker, who visited the hospital almost every day, worked with the medical teams, and delivered a daily email on Ed’s condition to his 60 closest friends.
The family will receive friends during a visitation held on Friday evening, March 4, 2022 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Turrentine Jackson Morrow Funeral Home, 2525 Central Expressway North, Allen, Texas 75013.
The funeral service will be held 4:00 p.m., Saturday, March 5, 2022 at Turrentine Jackson Morrow Funeral Chapel in Allen, Texas. Due to the number of older folks and people with health conditions who will attend the events, the family requests all who attend to please wear a mask and masks will be provided at the facility. For anyone who has had potential recent exposure to COVID-19 or has not been vaccinated, the family invites your attendance through the TJM livestream below.
The service will also be live streamed at TJMfuneral.com on Ed’s obituary page by clicking on the following link: https://celebrationoflife.tv/blog/ed-baker. After the service, the recorded live stream will be available for viewing at the same link location. Following the funeral service, a reception will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Ed Baker’s family thanks his many friends and acquaintances for their loving support over his lifetime. In lieu of flowers, we request you make a tax-deductible donation to The Edwin Baker Memorial Fund, a Charles Schwab charitable Donor-Advised Fund (DAF), which will be used to endow gifts to Centenary College, his Fraternity TKE, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), the International Association of Fire Fighters, and other charities that were close to his heart. Appreciated stock, mutual funds, and other investments can also be donated.
Check donations should be made out to the Charles Schwab Charitable Fund and include the donor’s name and address, with Fund # 6346-0432 written in the memo line and mailed to:
Charles Schwab Charitable Fund
(Fund # 6346-0432)
1958 Summit Park Drive, Suite 200
Orlando Florida 32810
Please send specific questions to his niece, Jules Catania (firstname.lastname@example.org). She will respond as soon as possible.