Mr. Wayne Howard Baker, age 91, of Pinnacle, passed away on Friday, October 13, 2023, at his home. He was born on December 9, 1931, in Surry County to the late Floyd and Myrtle Smith Baker.
Mr. Baker spent his entire life working on his farm, but that is not the only hat he wore. Though not formally trained, he often auctioneered. In years past, he sat on the board for Community Bank, the old Shoals School board, and the board for Old Belt Tobacco Warehouse. He was a vibrant and active community servant, loving to do what he could for those around him. Wayne was a faithful Shoals Ruritan Club member for decades, with perfect attendance, until his health declined. He was also a big gardener that enjoyed sharing his ample bounty with his neighbors.
Wayne played as hard as he worked, traveling many miles with his wife, Jewel, and his beloved traveling companions, Raymond and Kathy Edwards. Fishing was also a joy of his, as he loved to throw big fish fries and invite his many special friends. To Wayne, these friends were family.
One of his biggest passions was coon hunting. Some even call him a "Bluetick Legend". Wayne loved bluetick hounds, and was a faithful member of the two biggest bluetick hound associations. He always kept a good hound. He had a few favorites, but perhaps his all time favorite was Bakers Kandy. She was a great hound, and produced great hounds. Wayne enjoyed raising pups and made a few crosses that impacted the bluetick breed! Some of the dogs he raised made bluetick history. Wayne loved to hunt. He enjoyed hearing the dogs run the track with loud, bawling voices, and he loved to hear them on the tree! The distance nor the terrain kept him from going to the tree. He was preceded in death by his hunting buddy, Everett Dalton. They were more like brothers than just friends! Wayne was respected and appreciated by coon hunters from all across this country, and will be missed by all that knew him.
Lastly, and perhaps greatest of all, he was Papa. He always made time for his grands and greats, especially the little ones. He could be found pulling candy from his pockets, showing them dogs and farm equipment in magazines, picking grapes and blueberries with them, or teaching them a Spanish word. When Papa grabbed his cap, the kids knew he was heading out the door and that they might get a trip on the tractor or to the store. He often rode up to his grands playing in the yard, would roll his window down with a grin and say "Hey, you wanna ride with me?"
Papa Wayne will be missed endlessly.
Left to cherish his memory are daughters and sons-in-law, Gail Martin, Gwendolyn Lawson (J.C.), Avis Shinault (Gary), Kay Hunter (Perry); son, Gary Baker (Jean), nine grandchildren; seventeen great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; sister and brother-in-law, Rebecca Jarrell (Richard); several nieces and nephews, and friends too numerous to name. In addition to his parents Mr. Baker was preceded in death by his wife, Jewel Barber Baker; grandchild, Cameron Martin; sisters, Betty Shelton, Allie Pruitt, brother, Gray Baker. The family will receive friends on Tuesday evening from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Pinnacle View Baptist Church. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Pinnacle View Baptist Church with services conducted by Bro. Ronnie Chamblin, Dr. Craig Edwards, and Bro. Jimmy Joyce. Burial will follow in Cedar Hill Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.