Charles Cecil Baker, 94 years young -- adored husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather -- graduated to glory to be with the Lord on January 8, 2021.
Charlie lived every minute of his 94 years to the fullest and refused to let age slow him down. As a senior Olympic competitor, his favorite motto was: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Throughout his 94 years, he took advantage of every opportunity to serve the Lord by serving others. One of his greatest joys was touching others’ lives with compassion and kindness by actively seeking to meet their needs. Because Charlie never grew tired of modeling Christ’s love, he was in turn beloved by all who knew him. It is no exaggeration to say that Charlie Baker never met a stranger.
The son of Raleigh Otto Baker and Ruth Bickett Baker, Charlie was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, where he graduated in 1944 from Tech High School. After graduating from high school during World War II, he joined the Navy Air Corps, serving as a gunner and ordinance member in the Philippines. He was a Wake Forest University alumnus and a proud Demon Deacon. Charlie began his career working as a chemist at DuPont in Seaford, De., later transferring to Chattanooga in 1967. Charlie’s entire 41-year career was spent at DuPont mainly in the carpet fibers division, his last position there being Senior Technical Marketing Specialist.
Besides serving the Lord, Charlie had two great passions in life—collecting arrowheads and participating in the Senior Olympics. His arrowhead collection was extensive, representing decades of painstaking searching in the fields of East Tennessee. Charlie began participating in the track and field events in the Tennessee Senior Olympics following retirement. He competed at both the state and national levels, where he accumulated many gold, silver, and bronze medals. Charlie was not only a competitor, but also a volunteer ambassador and spokesperson for the Olympics and served on the Tennessee board of directors for many years. In recognition of his achievements and service, in 2009 he received the Walt Lauter Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame. However, the sports achievement that made him the proudest was the one awarded to him in 2017. In that year Charlie was inducted into the Tennessee Senior Olympics Sports Hall of Fame as the very first member of the inaugural class.
Charlie was a faithful member of White Oak Baptist Church for 53 years -- a fellowship he loved --and rarely missed a service. He humbly served in any job that needed to be done. He taught Sunday School and served as a deacon, and visited shut-ins on the weekends. He made it a point to arrive early on Sunday mornings just so that he could hold the door open for those arriving for Sunday School, especially the “elderly.”
Charlie was also a devoted family man and patriarch of a family whose desire is to follow in his footsteps of service and giving. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elizabeth Baker, son Chuck Baker (Cynthia), daughter Debby Kailer (John), and daughter Marsha Anderson (Bob). He was also the proud grandfather of six and great- grandfather of two.
Memorial contributions can be made to White Oak Baptist Church, 310 Memorial Drive, Chattanooga, Tn. 37415, and to Bethel Bible Village, 3001 Hamill Road, Hixson, Tn. 37343. A private graveside service will be held for family and close friends and a memorial service to celebrate Charlie’s life will be held in the upcoming weeks at White Oak Baptist Church on a date to be announced.
We respectfully request that “social distancing”, wearing masks at all times, and all CDC guidelines and measures be adhered to at the cemetery.
Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory, and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, Tn. 37343.
Please share your thoughts and memories at www.chattanooganorthchapel.com.