Franklin M. Baker passed away suddenly May 16, 2019, at Regions Hospital, St. Paul, Minn., with family by his side.
Frank was born Oct. 28, 1945 in Trade Lake to Monroe and Elida (Petersen) Davidson. Monroe passed away when Frank was five and when he was seven, Elida married Pop (Art Baker) and was his son until Art’s death in 2008.
In 1968, he married Shirley Brenizer and became Dad to Penny and Paul. On June 19, 1976, he was united in marriage and life to Ginger Clay of Siren. She was his wife and best friend for 43 years.
Frank was a 1963 graduate of Frederic High School and enlisted in the Navy at age 17 to become a radar man. When he returned home, he worked for Pop in his blacksmith shop, then shortly for Penta Wood Products and the Village of Grantsburg. In 1969, he started work at Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Company and retired as their meter tester Jan. 1, 2008.
Frank enjoyed hunting for over 20 years with good friends Don and Kathy Wistrom, their son John and his son Paul. He also loved fishing but usually practiced the “catch and release” method. He spent many hours on bleachers and lawn chairs watching daughter Penny and son Paul play basketball, baseball and football and loved every minute of it as his kids were the best of course.
In late years, he enjoyed watching and feeding his birds, trips to the casino, and almost daily visits with friend and neighbor, Larry Tucker, garage sales and thrift shops, service to his church, and traveling. The past two years found Frank and Ginger near the beach in Perdido Key, FL near Ginger’s sister Sherryl, where he spent many hours walking along the beach collecting seashells, exploring the Gulf Coast, attending Florabama Church and going to estate sales and finding his “treasures.”
His grandkids were his greatest joy in life and he loved to spend time with them from watching Pumpkie and Nate the Great play basketball, baseball, softball and lacrosse, then football with the Brady Boy and Gavinator, to being able to baby-sit KK after kindergarten where they’d eat Happy Meals and watch hours and hours of SpongeBob while she snuggled on Grandpa’s lap.
Frank always put his wife, children and grandchildren ahead of himself and cared for them first. He never met a stranger and ALWAYS had a story to tell you. He had a gift for making others feel they counted, were cared for and were the most important person in the room.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Art & Elida, father-in-law, Mel Clay, mother-in-law Juanita Olson, brothers La Don & Gary Peterson and Pete (Don) Davidson, Sister Doris Ott, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and special nephew John Wistrom.
He leaves to mourn his passing, his wife Ginger, children Penny (John) Hatinen, Blaine, MN, Paul (Cheryl) Baker of St.Croix Falls, grandchildren Brianna Hatinen, Brady Baker, Nathan Hatinen, Gavin Baker, Kailey Baker and 36 Honorary Grandchildren. Sisters Rose Marie Williams and Mary Ann Lynch, sisters-in-law Sherryl Hebert, Connie Whitesides and Candie Java. Nieces and nephews and close friends Jill Cook and Larry and Pat Tucker and many, many good friends.
The Celebration of Life for Frank was Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 11 a.m. at Siren United Methodist Church of Siren officiated by pastor Eddie Crise. Visitation was at the church Tuesday, May 21, 2019, from 6-8 p.m. and one hour before the service. Lunch was provided by the UMW following the service. Interment was at Lakeview Mud Hen Lake Cemetery.
Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.