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J. A. ''Jay'' Baker
Broken Arrow laid on his breast, an Eagle Feather placed across the Arrow. His body will return to the earth as it was, and his soul shall return unto the Great Spirit who gave it.
Jay was born, raised and educated on the Choctaw/Kiowa Indian Nation community near Medicine Park, Lawton, Fort Sill area. His Father, James Albert (a white man), from the hills of McAlester, OK and Mother, a full blood Choctaw Indian girl, Zelma Oma Vienitia, Cornealius’ ‘Little Deer Running’ that his dad met while writing a cover story for the Denver Post, about an ‘all girl’ Nursing Training school that his mother was sent to. She was his guide around campus for two weeks. He followed her back to Oklahoma. Funny part, Dad being a ‘White Man,’ Grandpa being an Indian, Grandpa almost shot him. Good thing Jay’s future dad brought two horses with him to give to Grandpa. Before Jay’s mother and father were married, Jay was told that Grandpa had a total of 7 horses, all from his future dad. Jay, his Indian name, ‘Lone Buffalo’ had a ‘rounded education.’ We can’t remember, ever, that he wasn’t working at least two jobs and maybe a project on the side. His work habits were instilled early by his grandfather, Three Feathers, with whom he lived for 14 years, who said, “you must learn the White Man’s ways, or you’ll perish.” His father told him, “Try, see, do, or learn something, every day.”
He retired from the old Texas Highway Department, Traffic Engineering Section after 37 years. He earned his BBA, with a minor in Accounting from Baylor University. He worked part time jobs, weekends, holidays, with the old Muehlebock Beer, Southern Select Beer and Pearl Beer Companies; Old William’s Drug Store at 18th & Austin; Soda Jerk @ TCU Drug on N. 18th; lifeguard at “The Beach” swimming pool, located on N. 4th Street, now part of the Waco Zoo; Brookview Flower Shop; night manager Lake Air Golf Driving Range, when first opened. He was a draftsman, drew house plans; served on the Board of Directors at the old District Credit Union for 28 years; drove a Hospital Van for both the Shrine and Scottish Rite Children’s Hospitals; taught night classes at Temple Junior College; worked for Mr. Easley’s Lake Waco Country Club; spent time roofing and house painting; owned many rent houses; was a Ham Radio operator. Jay served as Petty Officer, Cryptographic/Radio operator during the Korean conflict, was a member of a special Naval Unit MSTS that traveled all the ports in the Mediterranean Sea thru the Panama Canal, Japan, Korea, South China Sea, Philippines, Borneo, Pearl Harbor, and all over the South Pacific.
Jay loved to fly his radio-controlled airplanes. He was Past President of the old 38+ CB Club; he enjoyed camping, traveling and RVing with Grace, and their many friends. His many Masonic activities consisted of Past Master of Baylor Masonic Lodge, #1235; Past Secretary, Master, Warden & Secretary Asso. 32 Degree Scottish Rite; Knight Commander, Court of Honor, Wise Master of the 18th Degree Rose Croix; Past Treasurer, Past Recorder Emeritus, Past Potentate of Karem Shrine; Past Impresario Royal Order of Jesters, Court #114; Past Secretary & Treasurer, many years, for the Texas Shrine Motor Patrol Association; Past President of the Bob Scott Chapter National Sojourners. Jay held all of the offices of the Karem Texas T’s; Past President of Karem’s Golf Unit; Past Masters Association, Bowling Unit and Karem Kamp Administrator. He wrote many articles and provided many programs about Masonry, Scottish Rite and the Shrine.
Jay loved to tell the story of how he met lady Grace, as a young country farm girl (he was much, much older than her), brought her to the big city and taught and raised her like he wanted. If someone called by phone, asking for Grace, he’d state, “She’s out plowing, or down at the barn milking or churning butter.” But if the truth be known, it was Lady Grace that taught Jay how to laugh, sing, be happy; how to live, and especially how to love….real, undying love! His last words to her were, “Love ya’ Gracie.” Jay and Lady Grace loved to dance….Oh, how they loved to dance!
Jay is survived by his Lady Grace; daughter Kerrie; son Mark; four grandchildren Travis, Nikki, Britni, and Sean; and three great grandchildren Wyatt, Isaac, and Finn.
He never met a stranger, never missed an opportunity to lend a helping hand, and he ALWAYS had kind words and a smile for everyone he met! He was a hero to his family, and he will be remembered as a loving husband, dad, granddad, and friend.
Military and Masonic graveside services will be held at Waco Memorial Park, Military Section at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Military portion will be conducted by the Waco Naval Reserve Honor Guard. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Texas T’s and all Past Karem Potentates.
Memorials may be made to the Karem Shrine, 400 Karem Circle, Waco, TX 76712 or to the Shriner's Children's Hospital in care of the Scottish Rite, 2801 W. Waco Dr, 76707.
As Jay always ended his Karavan articles…. Gosh! It’s great to be a Shriner!
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Waco Memorial Park
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