William "Bill" George Baker, Weston, passed peacefully at his home, surrounded by his wife of 61 years and family, on March 29, 2021, just shy of his 83rd birthday.
Bill was born on April 25, 1938 to Clarence and Marie (Sly) Baker in Bowling Green and married Janis (Johnson) on October 3, 1959. He attended Weston Village Schools and raised his family of six children in Weston. Bill retired after 30 years of service at General Motors Central Foundry in Defiance and later worked assembling parts and gadgets for the automotive industry from his home workshop for Designetics, Inc., Holland.
In his retirement years, Bill dabbled in many different arts, crafts, and hobbies including designing unique hand carved canes, woodburning, and woodworking, the latter of which led to the "Bill & Jan Woodcrafts" booth, frequently seen around area festivals in the early '90's. He was an avid bike rider, once participating in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, graduating later to a three-wheeled bike on his closer to home traverses around Weston. He enjoyed the outdoors and spent many spring and summers mushroom hunting, fishing on Lake Michigan, camping along the Maumee River at Wagner's Campground, and on the links at the former Forrest Creason Golf Course, were he served as a Ranger for a number of years. As the years added up, he traded the more adventurous activities for sudoku, word searches, and amassing the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles known to man. He was a faithful attender of services at Sonlight Church and enjoyed the many dinner outings with the church's Abraham & Sarah fellowship. The founding member and "president" of the Bill Baker B.S. Club, Bill could be regularly found dispensing wisdom and advice at the Weston Marathon and Main Street Station Coffee Tables.
Said to have been a strict father by his five oldest children, Bill gave up on that persona quickly after becoming a grandfather for the first time in 1980 and a father for the sixth time in 1983. He adored his 15 grandchildren and 22 great-grand-children and spoiled them regularly with rides on his bike, one-of-a-kind gifts, boat rides on the pontoon, and weekend stays at the campground. While his children share stories of crouching to one side in the back seat of the car to avoid his hand reaching back, his grandchildren will only remember "Grandpa Bake" as the loving, teasing, ornery man he was.
Along with his wife, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, Bill is survived by his children and their spouses, Elaine & Timothy Schroeder and Shelly & Thomas Cookson, all of Weston; Tina Brents, Bowling Green; Melinda & Charles Beason, Grand Rapids; William & Robin (Newman), Bradner; and Robert & Kristy (Polan), Grand Rapids; brothers: Lloyd, Florence, OR; Richard (Gwen), Toledo; Danny, Phoenix, AZ; sisters: Barbara (Jesse) Rivera, Antioch, CA; Susan (Daniel) Hoile, Custar; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, Matthew E. Wilson.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be gifted to Weston EMS or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
A Memorial Service for Bill will be held at a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home, 1460 W. Wooster Street, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402 www.hannemanfuneralhomes.com