Ralph E. Baker
Passed away on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 as a resident of Lifecare at Lofland Park, Seaford, DE, he was formerly of Laurel, DE.
Born in Laurel, he was the son of the late Glenn W. and Myrtle E. Baker. He was also preceded in death by siblings, Arthur and Marshall Baker, and Helen Nichols. Ralph was a WWII veteran serving as a medical technician with the 1st Battalion, 307 Medical Division. His brigade made the first wave landing on Guam, Okinawa, Letye, and other islands. He was awarded the Silver Star in the Battle of Barrigada for the evacuation of wounded men while coming under fire. He also received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Mr. Baker was also honored with 5 other Battle Stars for serving with bravery and distinction during WWII. He returned to Guam in July 1994 to participate in the 50th Anniversary Golden Salute Celebration, taking along his infantry flag that was planted on the island when U.S. troops invaded. Ralph was discharged from the Army as a sergeant. He later retired from the National Guard as a chief warrant officer in 1960. In 2004, Ralph was honored by the Delaware National Guard when all training sites were named in his honor. His name was placed on the sign at the Bethany Beach Training site. During a speech by Adjutant General MG Francis Vavala at a ceremony honoring Ralph, he stated "Honesty, integrity, and complete devotion to duty have enabled Chief Baker to achieve the highest of military standards, and his actions should be emulated by all soldiers. Chief Warrant Officer Baker's distinguished service to this nation and state reflects great credit upon himself, the Delaware National Guard, and the U.S. Army." Ralph also retired from Phillips Men Shop. He was Past Master of Hope Lodge #4 in Laurel, DE and was a 32nd degree mason in the Delaware Consistory. He served as Worthy Patron of Laurel Chapter #18 for 9 years and served as Grand Chaplin in Grand Chapter of OES. He was also a poet, having many poems published.
He is survived by his wife, Hazel D. Baker, of Bethel, DE; daughters, Donna Saunders, of Ardmore, PA, Dorey Cummings, and her husband, Bob, of Seaford, DE, and Reta Leath, and her husband, Jeff, of Bowmansville, PA; a sister, Georgia Lee Cannon, of Delmar, MD; grandchildren, Marcie Hassett, Cathie Tyler, Mallory Leath, Phillips Leath, and Kyle Leath; 3 great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
A Masonic Service will be held at the Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home, 700 West Street, Laurel, DE, on Friday, May 4, at 2 pm. Followed by a funeral service officiated by Reverend Arthur Smith. Friends and family may call at the funeral home from 1-2 pm on Friday. Internment will be in Bethel Cemetery, Bethel.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to: Bethel UM Church, 7774 Main Street, Bethel, DE 19931.
Page Updated: 11/04/2015
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