Grant Baker; Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Air Force Fighter Pilot, Career Military Man; passed away peacefully August 7, 2016 at the age of 83, following a stroke the week before. He is predeceased by his loving wife Phyllis (Love) Baker and survived by his brother Robert Baker (Jacqueline), sister Margot Opseth (Otto), children Brent Baker (Elaine), Andria Moller (Phil), Carolyn Letkeman (Peter) and Bryan Baker (Lisa), 11 grandchildren and 7 great- grandchildren.
Born in 1933 in Dawson Creek, B.C., Grant was educated in Qualicum Beach and graduated high school in 1950 in Victoria. After a short period working for B.C. Forest Products Grant joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in as a pilot in 1952. A year later he married Phyllis Love and was stationed in Penhold, Ontario and served as a flying instructor until 1956. Future postings included Ottawa, flying all weather fighter aircraft; NORAD in Grand Forks; CFB Cold Lake to train on flying the CF 104 Starfighter and then off to Germany and the 430 Squadron in Zweibrucken in 1970; then to Lahr, Germany to serve with Air Division Headquarters.
He returned to Canada with his family in 1970 to attend Staff College in Toronto before moving to Moose Jaw as Major to be a Tutor Basic Training Instructor. In 1975, after completing his instructional tour, Grant and his family (minus the three oldest kids) were moved to Hampton Virginia, USA to take up a position as Exchange Officer to USAF Tactical Air Command Head Quarters at Langley Air Force Base.
Grant was transferred to CFB Cold Lake, Alberta to serve as Deputy Base Operations officer. Being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1980, precipitated a transfer to Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg as Base Administrations Officer. His final posting to CFB Chatham New Brunswick came three years later as he was assigned to be Base Administrations Officer and then Base Operations Officer. During this posting, he was offered a promotion to Full Colonel. However, he refused the promotion because it would no longer allow him to fly fighter aircraft; he loved to fly so much. Grant retired to Black Creek, B.C. in 1987, but not before receiving the Order of Military Merit medal from Governor General Jean Sauve; a crowning achievement in his career.
18 years later, in 2005 he and Phyllis moved to a condo in Campbell River, B.C. Grants passions included carpentry, golfing, fishing, hunting, camping, gourmet cooking, his native B.C. and its waters. He was a man of pride, of honour and integrity. He will be sorely missed by the people in his life who are proud to have known him and to have been touched by his presence in their lives.
When someone you love becomes a memory…that memory becomes a treasure.