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Medford ‘Med’ Baker

Medford Lee “Med” Baker, 85, of Jackson, passed away Jan. 23, 2022, at Life Care Center in Cape Girardeau.

He was born July 31, 1936, in Poplar Bluff, son of Vernon and Mary (Bennett) Baker. Med and Karen Washburn were married Jan. 6, 1967, in Pekin, IL. They moved to Jackson one year later. He was baptized at and attended First Baptist Church in Jackson for 55 years.

He attended school in Poplar Bluff to grade 7, but later went on to earn his GED. He also attended classes at the Cape Career and Technology Center school that included courses in arc and gas welding, autobody repair, electrical construction, mechanical refrigeration systems, small engine repair, metal work, woodworking, and precision machining. He started installing hardwood floors at age 14 and continued in flooring installation including carpet, tile, and laminates for 71 years.

He enjoyed spending time with his family. He was an avid golfer, winning several tournaments with two holes in one at Kimbeland Country Club, where he also served on the Board. He was the only golfer in Kimbeland Country Club history to shoot par righthanded and lefthanded on the course. He enjoyed league bowling for several years, bowling multiple 300 games in competition.

He served with the American Kennel Club of Southeast Missouri as obedience instructor. He and Karen founded and operated Idle-Brett’s Kennels, raising and training German Shepherd dogs for several years, where he trained several champions in obedience and confirmation. In his younger days he was an exceptional pool player, winning the 1967 Illinois State Pool Championship.

He played guitar most of his life and played in several bands over the years.

Med served in the National Guard.

To cherish his memory, he leaves behind a loving wife of 55 years, Karen J. Baker of Jackson, three children, Keith Baker of Jackson, Jodie Brown of Schulenburg, TX, and Jill (James) Rawson of Colorado Springs, CO, seven grandchildren, Shailey Boaz (Tony) Phillips of McAllen, TX, Maddie Baker, Brayden Baker, Savannah Baker, Delaney Baker of Cape Girardeau, Darin, and McKenna Rawson of Colorado Springs, and two great grandchildren, Sophie and T.J. Phillips of McAllen, TX.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and seven siblings, Willie Baker, Ernest Baker, Beatrice Lucy, John Baker, Maxine Baker, Violet Brajkovich, and Charles Baker.

Med’s family welcomed you to a memorial visitation to celebrate his life, on Saturday, Jan. 29, from 2 p.m. until service time, at First Baptist Church in Jackson.

Med’s memorial service followed at 4 p.m., at the church, with the Rev. Randy Riley officiating.

A private interment was Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, at Russell Heights Cemetery.

The family entrusted McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson with Med’s final arrangements.

Memorials may take the form of contributions to Bright Focus Foundation: Alzheimer’s Disease Research (support.brightfocus-.org).

The Baker family would like to give a special thank you to all the doctors, nurses, and technicians at Southeast-Health ER, Saint Francis ER, Parkland Health, and Life Care Center who took such diligent and kind care of him. And a special thanks to Legacy Hospice who provided above and beyond end-of-life care for him.

To send an online condolence to the family, visit McCombs Funeral Home website at www.mccombsfuneralhome.com; then click on the Tribute Wall tab of Med’s personal obituary.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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