Graveside services for Charles Ray “Pop” Baker, 88 of Childress, were held at Childress Cemetery at 2 p.m. Monday, May 17, 2021, with Dr. Mike Henderson officiating. Burial followed under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.
The beloved father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, master bricklayer, 32nd degree Mason and close friend to many and somewhat of a rascal, left Childress on May 16, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Born in Childress on July 7, 1932, he spent much of his childhood living on his grandparent’s screened in back porch where he learned the value of family early on.
Pops thought of his kids daily when he worked, bringing home turtles, tarantulas, strange critters or just some brick to play with his three kids. He worked hard to ensure a better life than a back porch, putting them through college so they could have a better life.
Pop, taking a well-deserved rest, leaves his children and families: Linda Ainsworth and husband Jack of Pittsburg, Texas, children Dr. Jennifer Amox of Bryant, Ark., Jacob Ainsworth and Jarrett Ainsworth of Mount Pleasant, Texas, Anna Kobee of Colorado Springs, Colo., Chuck Baker and wife Toni of Lubbock, Texas and children Chase Baker of Houston and Maci Baker of Lubbock, Connie Inman and husband Bruce of Childress and children Amy Whitaker of Childress and Chlo Jones of Lubbock.
He leaves them in charge of all he held important: work ethic, loyalty, ethics and humor even in the face of hard times. They were trained by the best and will keep the work on track.
He was preceded in death by his older brother Dub Baker, survived by his brother’s cherished daughters, Deb Ivy of San Antonio and Donna Shuey of Johnsonburg, Penn.; and his sister, Barbara Calhoun and children, Diedre, Steven and Dawn of Reno, Nev., who have always been so dear to Pop.
Pop leaves great grandchildren Madeleine, Jack, Emma, Jacori, Jacolbi, Jonathan, Taylor, Kayden, Axle, Rebecca, Shiloh, Georgia and Ben.
Pop began laying brick at the age of 13, and in spite of a tough childhood, emerged as an example of what willpower and work ethic can accomplish. Studying drafting at Texas Tech enabled Pop to join the Brick Layers Union and led to his laying brick (up to a thousand a day). Pop worked laying brick for 66 years, placing over 18 million bricks.
He next studied personal communications through Dale Carnegie training in order to interact more professionally with his customers. He would tell you that there were not many streets in Childress that did not have a house bricked by him or a fireplace he built. He would drive you around and show each one. Many a Childress High School student was given summer employment working for Pop.
Pop married young and worked tirelessly with Joan Baker to raise the kids and put food on the table. He built their first home in Childress at the age of 17. Those efforts yielded three strong and productive children, all of whom with their own families, are contributors to the world we live in.
Pop also presided as a grandfather to eight grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, all of whom carry on his heritage and heart.
Pop was also proud to have been friends with Nina Nelson and family and enjoyed their shared Childress heritage and company.
Many knew Pop from his various roles: bricklayer, 60-year Mason, member of First United Methodist Church, family man and even by his moniker of “King of Commerce” with friends stopping by his downtown residence to sit and visit (or consult) with Pop on the sidewalk in his comfy wicker chairs. Whatever he was to anyone, he will be remembered and held in their hearts.
The family wishes to thank CRMC Hospice and Pop’s longtime buddy Juilus Anderson, who stayed with Pop till the race was run. Special thanks also go to Kaye Cornish Armstrong and Willie Welker, who attended to every need and enjoyed every tale Pop offered as they cared for him. Pop had more friends than could be counted and spoke of them all with warmth and love, frequently.
In lieu of flowers, Pop would much rather you give to the organizations Meals on Wheels of Childress and Childress Regional Medical Center Hospice.
To those who shed this earthbound weight and pass through moonlight’s garden gate
Those who now see all unseen and dwell behind the veil of dreams
Freed to hear the song wind sings
The fluttering of angel wings
To know the grace that’s found with peace
To shed all fear, pain and grief
To feel the chains of time undone
To have no need to rush or run
To know the answers all revealed
Where loss to love will bow and kneel
Blessings to you on your flight from this darkness to the light