NASHVILLE, TN --- Richard Capers Baker, 101, passed away peacefully on September 5 at Belmont Village in Nashville, Tennessee. He was preceded in death by his wife Iris Wakefield Baker, parents Nettie Lynn Rowley Baker and Joseph Capers Baker. He is survived by his sons Stephen Baker (Jackie), David Baker (Connie), Jack Baker (Kim) and Carl Baker (Jil), his daughters Karen Furlow (Terry) and Barbara McKee (Craig), eighteen grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.
Richard (Dick) Baker was born in Jonesboro, Louisiana on April 6, 1922. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Electrical Engineering in May of 1942. Immediately after graduating from college, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he signed a contract with the Navy and made a long trip to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he worked retrofitting navy combat ships to add their initial version of radar equipment. In 1943, Dick began work on the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He married Iris Wakefield, his wife of 72 years, in 1947 and moved to Paducah, Kentucky in 1952 to work at the uranium enrichment plant. In 1955, he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission in conjunction with UCLA to monitor radiation released from atomic testing. In 1959, with five children in tow Dick managed to move to Boston and earned a Master’s Degree in Health Physics from Harvard University. He also served on the Kentucky OSHA Board for a number of years. Church was an important part of his life, and he was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah and served on the vestry and supported Boy Scout Troop 1 as a member of its Troop Committee.
Dick loved and was devoted to his large family. He was always busy gardening, repairing, coaching, traveling and enjoying his life with six children. He enjoyed all sports and particularly loved tennis and fishing. Watching sports was fun - especially the St. Louis Cardinals - but he much preferred to play sports or go fishing. He really enjoyed spending time at his condo in TOPS’L in Miramar Beach, Florida playing tennis and socializing with friends.
The Family wants to thank the staff at Belmont Village for their loving care and comfort and gives special thanks to Benadi Thikan for her caring assistance and kindness to him.
A service will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 820 Broadway, Paducah, KY 42001. Visitation with the family will be before the service from noon to 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Grace Episcopal Church.