Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Karman Baker, 88

| December 11, 2020 1:00 AM

Karman Baker, age 88, of Coeur d’Alene, passed away on Dec. 7, 2020, at the Schneidmiller Hospice House of Coeur d’Alene. Karman was the son of Robert and Era Baker and he was born on Aug. 11, 1932, in Coeur d'Alene.

In his younger years he went to school at John Rogers High School in Spokane, Wash., where he played the trombone and loved football. At a young age, Karman married his first wife, Connie Baker, and they enjoyed many years together and had six beautiful children.

Karman led a very interesting life, with many fun stories that he loved to talk about with everyone. In April 1952 until October 1954, Karman was in the Navy. In the Navy he was a boatswain mate and stationed in Hawaii, where attached to a tugboat unit. He was then transferred to USS Rochester during the Korean War. During his service in the Korean War, Karman was honored with six medals of service. Karman worked as a pit crew member at the stock car races in Spokane in his younger years and then worked as a longshoreman when he moved to Seattle.

In the 1960s Karman worked for more than eight years for the Seattle Police Department, first as a patrolman and then as a motorcade officer. He enjoyed his years on the patrol and had many fun stories to tell.

In the 1990s Karman had multiple trips to McMurdo, Antarctica, as a material supply technician for scientists.

In 1997, Karman met and married Betty Bray Baker, and they lived for many years together in their home in Coeur d’Alene. Karman and Betty enjoyed a very active life and spent many summers together camping at the Moyie River with special friends, the Dennis families, and the Radobanko family. They loved having all the children and grandchildren come and visit the camp at the Moyie, where they enjoyed swimming and floating in the river, and nearby hiking. The summers were filled with family and friends and created many special memories over the years.

One interesting story for Karman and Betty happened during the ‘90s on a trip to Vegas in their fifth-wheel RV. Karman left the casino to go outside and get something in his truck. While he was outside, he was held up at gunpoint by a man who stole his truck. The police were able to chase the robber down, where he crashed and totaled the truck.

In later years, Karman enjoyed weekly meetings for coffee with his group of male friends where they would sit and talk about the happenings of the week. Karman enjoyed hearing and telling many stories, including stories about his two kitties that he took great care of.

Karman was a very loving man, and he was very giving of his time and energy to anyone who needed anything. He will be greatly missed.

One final honor that Karman enjoyed was the Honor Flight he took in 2015 to Washington DC. This was a very special trip to Karman and thankful he was able to do this.

Karman was preceded in death by his parents and three of his children: Deborah Lee Baker, Judith Kay Baker and Linda Ann Baker.

Karman is survived by his wife, Betty Bray Baker; his children, David K. (Karla) Baker, Leslie Baker, and Lisa (David) Batty; stepchildren, Julie Schmidt, Nan Spinazza, Sue Spinazza and Ginny (Scott) Petersen; and also, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Karman will be buried at the Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake. A memorial will be held at a later date.

Please visit Karman’s memorial and sign his online guest book at