|8/2/2018 7:30:00 AM|
Michael J. Baker
Michael J. Baker went home to his Saviour on Monday evening, July 30, 2018, at the age of 72.
Mike was born in Rockford, Ill. After graduating Hononegah High School in Rockton, he attended Northwestern University where he played football and earned his bachelor's degree in physical education.
While a student at Northwestern, Mike met the love of his life, Jeanne, on a blind date. They married on Dec. 22, 1967.
After being drafted and serving for two years in the U.S. Army, Mike returned to Northwestern to earn his master's degree.
Mike and Jeanne moved to Rhinelander in 1971 where Mike taught physical education, first aid, and health-related courses at Nicolet College until his retirement in 2004. After retiring, Mike stayed active working for the YMCA, delivering Meals on Wheels, and volunteering at his church and in the community. He was also a member of the Lake Tomahawk American Legion, the Mayflower Society, and the Sons of the American Revolution.
Mike enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, canoeing, and any other activity that gave him the opportunity to be outdoors. All who knew him recognized Mike as a man who cared deeply for his friends, family, and church, but most of all as a man who walked with God.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Jeanne, and two daughters, Lori (Ken) Smoll of Spokane, Wash., and Pamela (Paul) Butler of Arlington, Ill. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Anna Smoll, Collin Smoll, Elise Smoll, Aelsa Butler, Elliot Butler, and Robin Butler. He is also survived by nieces, nephews, and many friends.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents and three sisters.
Visitation will be at Pine Grove Community Church, located at 5840 Forest Lane in Rhinelander, on Saturday, Aug. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. Graveside service will be at Newbold Memorial Cemetery after lunch at the church.
Memorial contributions in Mike's honor can be sent to Pine Grove Community Church Building Fund or YMCA of the Northwoods.
Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. You may light a candle, sign the guestbook or leave a photo or an online condolence at www.hildebrandrussfh.com
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