Joe Robert "J.R." Baker, 78, passed away peacefully after a long battle with cancer at his home on Saturday, February 10, 2018. J.R. was the son of Ted Walter Baker and Essie Lois Culbertson Baker. He graduated from Leicester High School in 1958. J.R. was President of his Senior Class and was active in basketball, baseball, and football.
J.R. was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He went to basic training in San Antonio, Texas, had tours of duty in Madrid, Spain and Plattsburg Air Force Base in New York. He was a retired Data Processing Manager at Taylor Instruments and also a Manager at Airborne Express. He was very active with Leicester Youth League where he coached his daughters' girls basketball teams. J.R. served on the board of Leicester Community Center for several years. He was an active member of Western Chapel United Methodist Church, where he was the former Superintendent and Chairman of the Administrative Board. J.R. had an avid love for hunting and fishing, and was President of the Leicester Bass Club.
He leaves behind his wife of fifty seven years, Margaret (Duckett) Baker; his daughters, Tammy Garrett (Kenneth) and Kimberly Landreth (Damon); his grandsons, Cody Garrett (Emily), Dalton Garrett and Austin Garrett; his sister, Marjorie Icenhower; and brother-in-law Charles Duckett. Upon his passing, J.R. joined his loving granddaughter, Olivia Landreth, who passed away on May 5, 2017. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Mack Baker and sisters Olene Robinson and Martha Whitted.
The family will be receiving friends on Tuesday, February 13 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. followed by the funeral service on Wednesday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave. Interment will follow at Western Chapel United Methodist Church, where he will be peacefully buried next to his precious granddaughter, "Papaw's Darling," Olivia Landreth.
Memorials can be made to CarePartners Hospice, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813 or to the Leicester Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 100, Leicester, NC 28748.