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Donald E. “Don” Baker 1930 - 2019
obits_jlk_baker mug.jpg
Donald E. “Don” Baker 1930 - 2019

Donald E. “Don” Baker, 88, passed away April 9, 2019 at Medicalodges of Great Bend. He was born Oct. 22, 1930 at Great Bend, the son of Elmer and Velma Neva (Cook) Bortz. He married Joan Jecha July 7, 1956 at Bison.  

Don, a long time resident of Rush and Barton Counties, was a graduate of Fort Hays State University. Don was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, based at Schilling Air Force Base, Salina, serving during the Korean War, earning the rank of 1st Lt.  Much of his military career was spent on tankers and B-47 bombers.  Following his military discharge, Don continued his aviation career with Boeing in Wichita as a B-52 test pilot. It was not long before he and Joan found their way back to the family farm, where he farmed, raised livestock and worked for Timken State Bank.  After retirement from the farm, Don was blessed with employment with Dee Doves, KVGB, KSN and Head Start.  Don was a life member of the V.F.W. Post #3111, member of the American Legion Argonne Post #180, and enjoyed sports, reading, playing cards and fishing.     

Survivors include, his wife Joan of the home; two sons, Stuart Baker and wife Lisa Ann and Clark Baker, all of Great Bend; one daughter, Lisa Oborny and husband Jim of Bells, Texas; and six grandchildren, Andrew Baker, Jonathan Baker, Amber Hart and husband Michael, Nicholas Oborny and wife Samantha, Alexander Oborny and wife Rachel, and Victoria Oborny. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Elizabeth Jeanne Degner. 

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, April 12, at Bryant Funeral Home, with family receiving friends from 5-7 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 13, at Bryant Funeral Home, with Pastor Larry Schumacher presiding. Interment will be in the Great Bend Cemetery, Great Bend, with Military Rites conducted by the United States Air Force. Memorials are suggested to the Golden Belt Humane Society or Kansas Wetlands Education Center, in care of Bryant Funeral Home.

Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Bryant Funeral Home

1425 Patton Road

Great Bend, KS   67530

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, April 11, 2019