Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Timothy Tony Baker

Timothy Tony Baker was born in Salem, Ore., on Jan. 13, 1948, to Tony and Ruth Baker, the fourth of five children. He spent the majority of his childhood in western Oregon on Chehalem Mountain, where he attended Mountain Top School and could see the Cascade Mountains from his front porch. It is no wonder Tim acquired a love for mountains that grew into a passion for climbing them.

Tim graduated from Newberg High School in 1966 as president of his student body. On Aug. 24, 1968, he married the love of his life, Karolyn. By their first anniversary, they were three months pregnant with their firstborn son, Aaron. Their first daughter, Andrea, joined the family a year and a half later, as Tim began training for his lifelong career as a carpenter.

From a young age, Tim's transcendent goal in life was to show others the love of Jesus Christ. To that end, when Andrea was a year old, Tim enrolled in Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. Over the next four years, he acquired training in theology and two more children. Tony entered the family in 1974, and Becky followed in 1976.

Tim's pastoral ministry began shortly after college, and one of the greatest highlights of his early ministry was the birth of his third son, Benjamin, whom he welcomed in 1977. Five kids strong, Tim and Karolyn lived in various locales around the Pacific Northwest, touching hearts and lives wherever they went, always leaving an imprint, always intent on proclaiming to those around them the unconditional and indescribable love of God.

In 1982, God blessed Tim and Karolyn with their fourth son, Seth, whose arrival coincided with Tim's return to Prairie Bible Institute to obtain the degree Prairie did not offer when he got his college diploma in 1976. Tim obtained his Bachelor of Theology degree in 1983 with a 3.98 GPA.

By 1984, Tim and Karolyn and their six children were settled in Hailey, Idaho, where Tim became pastor of Calvary Bible Church, nestled in the foothills of what would soon become his favorite mountains. When Tim's pastoral ministry ended, he and his family stayed in the Wood River Valley, where he continued working as a carpenter, the vocation he pursued until he left us for heaven. The last portion of Tim's life was full of the joys of grandchildren, as he began to teach a new generation how to scale the heights—both of the actual mountains around us and of the mountains life brings our way. His message was always the same: God is love, and his love will carry us as we continue to climb every mountain we face. He wanted his tombstone to read, "Last seen climbing."

Tim is survived by his wife, Karolyn Kay Baker; his brothers, David Anton Baker, Nathan Orley Baker and Bruce Leo Baker; his children and their spouses, Aaron Dean Baker, Karen Marie Braun, Anthony Joseph Bufort, Andrea Kay Baker Bufort, Tony Kenneth Baker, Kimberley Jean Baker, Jeffery Harold Frame, Rebekah Doris Frame, Benjamin Timothy Baker, Seth Joshua Baker, and Celia Marie Baker; and his grandchildren, Stuart Raymond Baker, Steven Dean Baker, Madeline Meerim Francesca Bufort, Sara Maria Jane Bufort, Lyla Mae Baker, Olivia Grace Baker, Elias Timothy Tony Baker, James Andrew Frame, Jonathan Micah Frame and Edward Timothy Baker.

You are invited to join us as we commemorate his life on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood on 100 Saddle Rd. in Ketchum, Idaho. A reception will immediately follow at Calvary Bible Church at 102 Coyote Bluff Rd. in Hailey.

Arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel. The obituary and guest book are available at

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