WATERLOO — John Charles Baker, 76, of Watertown, S.D., formerly of Waterloo, died Friday, Oct. 6, at Jenkins Living Center from complications due to Alzheimer’s.
He was born Feb. 17, 1941, in Watertown, son of Herb and Marian Conley Baker. He married Nancy “Tish” Turner on June 24, 1961, in Watertown.
He graduated from Watertown High School in 1959 and from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1964 with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. John was an industrial engineer for John Deere for 35 years and worked in the cities of Moline, Ill., Dubuque and Waterloo, where he began his retirement.
In 1994 John was ordained as a deacon and fulfilled his spiritual work at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Waterloo. In 2012 he retired his position in that church and returned to his hometown of Watertown. There, he served briefly as a deacon at Immaculate Conception Church.
Survived by: his wife; three sons, Jack of Waterloo, Pat of Eldridge and Brian (Mel) Miller of Washburn; two daughters, Colleen (Mike) Hallemann of St. Louis and Kiernan (Troy) Nicol of Cedar Falls; 12 grandchildren, Matthew Baker, Logan Miller, Colton Miller, Christian LaJeuness, Austin Rentz, Caiden Rentz, Jordan Nicol, Morgan Miller, Jordan Rentz, Madison Rentz, Megann Rentz, Lucie La Jeuness; four great-grandchildren, Harlen Miller, Christopher Nicol, Vada Rentz and Dephine Rentz; a brother, Jim (Cele) of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and a sister, Connie (Craig) Swarthout of Watertown.
Preceded in death by: his parents; and a granddaughter, Kaitlyn Rentz.
Services: 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., with a 6 p.m. Scripture, on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel in Watertown. On Monday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m. there will be Vespers followed by a reception at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Waterloo. The committal service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Waterloo. A reception will follow at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Waterloo. Funeral arrangements by Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel in Watertown, www.wightandcomes.com, and Hagarty Waychoff Grarup Funeral Service in Waterloo.
John was very involved in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives and they all affectionately called him Gully, a nickname given to him by his grandson, Austin Rentz, when Austin was a toddler. John embraced his Catholic faith and lived and breathed the way of the Lord in everything he did in life.