BAKER, Fredrick E. (December 15, 1949 – January 14, 2020)
Fred Baker died peacefully at his home in Comox, B.C. on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at the age of 70. He was surrounded by the love of his wife, Marva, his sons and their partners, Chris and Juleta, Jeff and Jessica, and his devoted dog, Crosby. Fred is also survived by his grandchildren, Emma and Nathan Severson-Baker, and Awen Choi; six brothers and sisters, Janice Deshoux (Joe), Barb Willis (Pat), Allan Blain (Greta), Peggy Baker, Robert Baker (Ulrike), and Tony Baker (Skip); as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Ernie and June, and step-father, Bill.
Fred was born in 1949 in Westlock, Alberta. He grew up nearby, rooted in strong family values. He was adventurous and fun from a young age, and excelled in hockey, horsemanship, and many other sports. Fred settled down in Calgary, Alberta with his first wife, Joan, and was a very active and highly engaged dad in the upbringing of his sons. Fred’s career as a geophysical engineer gave him the chance to take his family to Australia, where his technical expertise and management skills were in high demand. He spent four years in Perth and Sydney, having adventures, travelling all over the Pacific and South Asia, and making memories. Upon their return, he bought 20 acres of land north of Cochrane where he enjoyed the tranquility of the place, and spending time with family.
Fred was a natural leader. He was both kind and clear, and everyone valued his straightforward communication style. Fred worked in the exploration group of several companies and rose quickly from technical expert to manager and vice president, and other senior positions. He had that rare quality that only the best leaders have; the ability to assemble and inspire a high-performing team. Fred loved following politics and was fun to talk with about economics or the general news of the day. Even when the demands of work and the world were high, Fred found ways to express his playful side.
When he retired, Fred moved to Vancouver Island, where he met his dear partner, Marva. Together, they enjoyed all the island has to offer; hiking, beaches, great food and entertainment. They shared a love of travel and explored many international destinations together including Hawaii, Panama, Mexico and Europe. They created a warm and inviting home which they generously shared with visitors.
Fred’s ‘get after it’ attitude and determination to remain active through walking, dance, yoga, and pickle-ball, were key to his ability to persevere through the challenges of living with Parkinson’s disease for over 20 years. He was inspiring to his family, and never lost his laughter or his generous heart. To the end, Fred was able to articulate his values, and then ensure his actions aligned with those values. His loving warmth and integrity will be painfully missed.
A celebration of Fred’s life will occur in Alberta later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations in Fred’s honour may be made to “Parkinson Canada”, a national research and support group. www.parkinson.ca
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