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James "Jim" Clinton Baker

July 29, 1925 - July 10, 2019

James (Jim) Clinton Baker


James (Jim) Clinton Baker passed away on July 10, 2019, a few weeks before his 94th birthday. He was born in Tacoma, Washington on July 29, 1925, to James Carl Baker and Iola Josephine (Bassett) Baker.


The family moved to Portland, Oregon in 1927 when James Carl went to work at the Veterans Hospital. Jim attended Terwilliger Elementary school and Lincoln High School. After Pearl Harbor Jim dropped out of Lincoln to work in the shipyards. At 18 he joined the Navy and was a Gunner’s Mate on a Higgins boat taking part in many battles in the Pacific, including Okinawa and Leyte. After his discharge in 1946 he attended Linfield College and graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 1952.


On March 22, 1952, he married Mary Kathryn MacDonald. They had three children, Leslie, Kelley, and Jamie.


He started working at First National Bank but soon left to work in the automobile business. He had his own small car lot from 1960-66 first on SE Foster Road, then on SE 82nd Ave. After taking the summer of 1966 off to spend time with his kids, he worked as a salesman for various auto dealers throughout the Portland area until his retirement. One of the things he was proudest of was all of the customers that came back to him year after year.


Jim was a member of the South Riverside Kiwanis and served terms as both vice-president and president. He was a member of the Aero Club of Oregon where he was a fierce racket ball competitor.


Sports and exercise were always very important to him. He was an avid golfer and tennis player. In the mid 1960’s he took up a new hobby, “jogging.” Jim participated in numerous races including the Cascade Run-Off and the Shamrock Run. He continued running and then walking in Forest Park into his late 80’s.


Jim loved all types of flowers and spent hours in his garden. He excelled at growing vegetables and his garden overflowed in the fall. He was always giving fresh vegetables to friends and neighbors.


His children, daughters Leslie Baker & Jamie Baker, son Kelley Baker, and granddaughter Fiona Baker-McDonald survive him. His wife Mary, and his parents James and Iola, his sister Doris, and his brother Bob preceded him in death.


Per his request there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Hospice Care of The Northwest. (2290 Commercial St. SE, #108 Salem, OR 97302 – www.hospicecarenw.com)


Holman’s Funeral Service is handling all of the arrangements. He will be buried at Willamette National Cemetery.

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