Claude Leroy Baker, 89, passed away March 3rd, 2023. A memorial graveside service will be held Saturday, April 8th, at 11:00 AM at the Canyon City Cemetery with Air Force Military Honors accompanied by the American Legion Post 106.
Claude was born on December 8th, 1933 to Francis and Violet (Provines) Baker in Rapid City, South Dakota. The family settled in Portland Oregon in 1945.
He entered the Army in 1953 serving with the 11th Airborne and then the 82nd Airborne Division. He left the Army as a sergeant, taking a three-year break as a civilian where he met and married Bobetta Baker in 1959. They remained married for over 60 years. Claude reentered the service and started a 27-year career in the Air Force. He served throughout the United States as well as the Philippines, South Korea and the island of Iwo Jima. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant in 1986.
While in the Philippines Claude resumed parachuting and joined the Clark AFB Sport Parachute Club as their oldest member adding 80 jumps to his logbook. Claude was also a licensed Private pilot. Additionally, he earned a BA degree in business management.
Throughout his adult life Claude served on military pistol teams and earned many honors including the Distinguished Pistol Shot badge, Distinguished Rifleman medal, and Small Arms Marksmanship award.
Claude loved the John Day Valley starting back in the early 1950’s. Upon his retirement he and Bobetta moved to John Day on the 4th of July 1999. Claude served on the Grant County Fair Board playing a part in the group that restored the old red auction barn. He was active in the development of the Bear Creek Shooting Range and conducted range safety classes for new members.
Claude was a loving devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his son James, daughter-in-law Kelly and granddaughters Lauren & Emily.
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