Celebrating the life of Thomas Eugene (Gene) Baker
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Obituary for Thomas Eugene (Gene) Baker
A funeral service remembering the life of Thomas Eugene “Gene” Baker, 82 of Kershaw, South Carolina, will be held at 3:00 o’clock p.m., Sunday, April 3, 2016, in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, 201 North Cleveland Street, Kershaw. Entombment will follow in the family mausoleum in Kershaw City Cemetery. The Reverends Bryant Doyle Fersner and Steven Ray Winburn will officiate.
Mr. Baker died peaceful Monday evening, March 28, 2016, with his family by his side. He was born in the rural outskirts of Bethune, August 26, 1933. He was the only child of the late Thomas Jackson and Nell Reba Williams Baker. Gene’s father died in 1945 at the age of 40 when Gene was just 12 years old. He felt a close bond to his mother as she overnight became his mother and father. His strong work ethic and desire to succeed made him a successful businessman. He graduated from Kershaw High School and served in the United States Army. He was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky during the Korean Conflict. After being discharged from the Army, he attended night school and received a Associates degree from Wingate College. In the early years he was an insurance salesman with Liberty Life Insurance. He interviewed and became a salesman with Royal Broadcasting Systems. Following being a salesman he continued and bought the radio station and owned it until sold in the 1990’s. Mr. Baker was also a partner with C. K. Connelly , Jr., owning Video Vision, Lancaster’s cable TV provider until sold to what is now Comporium Communications. He, along with other business partners, bought and sold many rental and main street Lancaster properties. He continued to maintain ownership in Baker-McGaughy Properties, Hage-Baker Properties, Baker Properties and Baker Builders. He was also the owner of Classic Auto Sales from 1992 to 2003.
In later years Gene could almost always be found outside his home enjoying the swing under his favorite oak tree. He often travelled by golf cart about town, stopping to chat with anyone and everyone.
Mr. Baker was active in the town he loved and called home and served on the Kershaw Town Council. He served as a volunteer firefighter with the Kershaw Fire Department for 37 years, and helped raise funds when a new building was constructed in the 1980’s. He served on the board of Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation and the Lancaster Country Transportation Commission. He served as a director on the local board of First National Bank, South Carolina National Bank which later became Wachovia Bank. He was also a member of the Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority Board. He was raised in the First Baptist Church of Kershaw and later joined First Presbyterian Church after he married his wife. He served his church with love to the Lord as a deacon, an elder, and on other various committees. He was also a lifetime member of Abney Masonic Lodge # 211.
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Rose Marie Croxton Baker of the home; a daughter, Jacqueline Ann “Jackie” Hage and her husband Nazih M. Hage of Cary, North Carolina; a son, Thomas Eugene “Tommy” Baker, II of Kershaw; two grandsons, Spencer A. Hage of Cary, North Carolina and George C. Hage and his wife Jaclyn Hage of Raleigh, North Carolina, and also, an adopted brother, Charles Stine, of Indian Trail, North Carolina.
The family cordially invites you to a visitation and reception at the Baker Conference Center immediately following the entombment. Baker Conference Center is located at 105 North Minor Street, Kershaw. The family is at the home, 111 South Minor Street, Kershaw.
Expressions of sympathy are welcomed by floral arrangements or memorials made in memory of Gene Baker to First Presbyterian Church, Handicapped Ramp Fund, Post Office Box 611, Kershaw, South Carolina, 29067.