John Alexander Baker
April 11, 1939 – October 31, 2021
Born in Stratford Ontario to Lorna and Charles Baker. John and his brother Jim were raised in modest rural Saskatchewan. He attended a one room school house, and later was fortunate to attend boarding school at Luther College in Regina.
John went on to earn an honours BA, and MA in mathematics from the University of Saskatchewan (1963). During this time, he met his dear Donna. They were married in 1965. It was also at this time that he worked towards becoming a commissioned officer in the Navy. Building precious lifelong friends was a significant byproduct of these years.
John earned his PHD (mathematics) from the University of Waterloo. There, he began his career of more than 30 years as a professor of Pure Mathematics. One of the greatest joys of his life was the day his son Sean was born. Laurel followed shortly after completing their small family. John and Donna raised their family in Elmira Ontario. On top of his mathematical achievements, John enjoyed the great outdoors, playing baseball, traveling, cycling, playing guitar, and being in the company of good friends. Sabbaticals took him to Arizona, New Zealand and Turkey, while presenting his research papers took him to many other countries as well. Summers often included family long road trips and camping in their boler trailer. Once again, this chapter of his life brought with it deeply meaningful friendships.
Starting in the early 70’s, John planted 100’s (sometimes 1000’s) of trees each spring knowing that they would create air and shade for future generations.
John retired in 1999 at which time he and Donna made the move to Lions Head. John welcomed son-in-law Phil, and granddaughters Korah and Jasmine into his life.
He poured himself into his life on ‘the Bruce’. Through his music, environmental advocacy, and seemingly natural efforts towards community building and welcoming of the stranger, he became somewhat of a local icon. Music and the bond he made with his fellow musicians brought him and others much joy.
When his dear Donna died four years ago, his heart was broken. He grieved hard. The good friends that John had made and kept throughout his life were especially important to him during this time. John had a short battle with cancer which ended on October 31, 2021 – the same day that his beloved left him four years prior.
He leaves behind children Sean Baker, Laurel Martin (Phil Martin) and grandchildren Korah and Jasmine, brother Jim Baker (Laura), nephews and nieces, Todd Baker, John-Paul Baker (Danalee) and Leslie Baker and their families.
A memorial gathering will be held at his home on November 6th and 7th from 10-4 pm each day.