Wiley Randolph Baker

February 8, 1923 - October 27, 2006

Wiley Randolph Baker, age 83, of McKinney, Texas passed away peacefully at home October 27, 2006. He was born February 8, l923 in Oenaville, Texas to Charles Monroe and Pearl (Short) Baker. On February 1, 1947 he married Lauretta Virginia Sooter in Cooper, Texas. He served in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of World War II. Wiley was a West Texas cotton farmer in Muleshoe, Texas until 1966. He and his wife took up flying in 1966. Making trips around the country in their Cessna 182 they became enamored with Montana and in 1966 he moved his family to Missoula where they spent the next 28 years of their life. After moving to Missoula our Dad became involved in real estate, buying and trading property. In December, 1994 he and Lauretta moved to Johnson City, TN. They left Johnson City in 1998 and moved back to Texas, making their home in Shallowater. Because of failing health, he and Lauretta moved to McKinney to be closer to family. Our Dad had a great love for God and he spent a lifetime of service to his Heavenly Father. He started leading acapella singing for the Church when he was only 11 years old. As a teenager, he started following around one of the Church's most noteable preacher, Homer Hailey. Wherever Brother Hailey held a meeting our Dad was there to lead the singing. Dad became a favorite songleader wherever he went, leading the old time Stamp Baxter music with the shaped notes. It was obvious to all who had the privilege of hearing our Dad lead singing, that this was his gift and true joy. With a great smile on his face, it was a joy to hear him lead these songs of praises to our King. His service to the Lord also involved his support and sevice to Yellowstone Bible Encampment in Pray, MT. During their years in Missoula, our Dad and Mom gave college students a home away from home, providing memories for these students that they still hold dear. He supported several Christian colleges and served on the Board for a few years at Columbia Christian in Oregon. In fact the number of people who could count our Dad as their benefactor are in the thousands and found literally around the world. More recently Dad's great joy was to help support medical missions. Dad was a member of the "Greatest Generation." He believed in hard work and in being committed to the Lord and to his family. He loved God's Family and is joyously looking forward to leading us in the songs of praises to our Creator "When We All Get to Heaven." Wiley is survived by his wife, Lauretta Baker of McKinney; daughters, Marcia N. Gaustad of Prosper, Texas and Kathy L. Tess (husband, Mike) of Bozeman, MT. There are nine living grandchildren and 14 living great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Mark Weldon Baker, 3 brothers and 1 sister. A memorial service will be held at the Church of Christ in Shallowater, TX, Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 11:00 A.M. Longtime friend and brother in Christ, John Bailey, will preside over the services. Burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Garden in Missoula, MT. There will be a service at the Missoula Valley Church of Christ, Saturday, November 4, 2006 at 1:00 P.M. with his son-in-law, Mike Tess officiating.

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Wiley was an astute and caring Christan businessman. It was my pleasure to know and admire him. His generous support of several Christian causes and influence over family and friends will long be remembered. George Q. Offutt, November 7, 2006 I have fond memories of your family at the Missoula Church of Christ. Wilie was so kind to my mother, Kate Rasmussen, and gave her $50 most every Christmas. When my husband passed away, he offered to help me with the funeral expenses (which I declined) but was grateful for his offer. He was indeed what a Christian should be. Mother has passed away at almost 99 and I have moved to Enumclaw, Wa to be near my two children. I will always remember your family. My email is rose1931@tx3.com. Rose E Lovegren Rose E Lovegren, November 3, 2006 I had the privilege of serving as Mr. Baker's physician for 2 or 3 years here in Lubbock, and I must say that my life was enriched by knowing him. What a humble man of God, whose love for his family was always evident. Mrs. Baker, he loved you dearly, as you well know, and as he expressed so clearly to me. God bless your family with peace and affirmation during this change of life. In Christ's Love, Jeffrey D. Smith, MD Jeffrey D. Smith, November 2, 2006 Wiley made us feel so welcome from the moment we arrived in Shallowater. He was always smiling! Tom and I appreciated all we learned from him in Bible class. He was so full of wisdom, and yet so humble! I found a quote when my own daddy died that comforted me, and it reminds me of Wiley.... "Men like that can't be replaced, but you are richer for having known them, and even after they are gone, rich for being able to remember them." We are thankful that we, and especially our two sons, Jared and Alex, were able to know and learn from Wiley. Carol Johnson, November 1, 2006 Marcia & Kathy, I am very sorry to hear about your Dad. I remember losing mine very well, and it is not easy. Drop me an email if you get a chance to alvin44@gtcom.net. Alvin Acton Mitchell, Jr., November 1, 2006 Lauretta, Marcia, & Kathy We (Melba & I) thought your husband (Lauretta) father (Marcia & Kathy) was a wonderful kind hearted Christian man. The first time we met him (at Greg & Melanie's wedding) we could see his devotion to Christ and His church. We could tell he had a giving spirit of his time and earthly good. We are very sorry for your loss. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. We pray that God will comfort you in your loss. Remember all the good times. Our Love to all, Keith & Melba Welch Keith Welch, October 31, 2006 Your Daddy will be dearly missed by those of us at Shallowater. I loved to sing with him-it was how I picture singing in Heaven to be. His love for God shined so brightly in his smile when he was leading a song and it was so contagious! He and your mom were so loved by all of us!! May God bless you all in this time of loss. Love, Sandra Cody Sandra Cody, October 31, 2006 I have fond memories of seeing Wiley at the Shallowater Senior Center playing dominos with friends. He would always ask how I was doing and he would always ask how my Dad was. He always took the time to visit with you. I will miss seeing him until I see him in Heaven. I pray for comfort during this time of loss. God Bless Kenny Kittrell, October 31, 2006