Wiley Randolph


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Wiley Randolph Baker

Feb 08 1923 - Oct 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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