James Baker

James Michael Baker, 89, of Clarendon Hills died peacefully Jan. 20, 2024, surrounded by family.

Jim was born in 1934 to Elizabeth Hengels and Gilmer Baker and raised in La Grange, in large part by his many sisters. He worked hard from an early age, graduating from Lyons Township High School and entering the U.S. Army, where he earned airborne wings and served honorably. Jim then completed trade school as an apprentice plasterer, discovering his love of the trade and career path. Jim and his longtime friend Skip partnered on countless jobs for more than 45 years.

Jim was an avid golfer and bowler with a love of playing and coaching. He made many friends throughout his life. His legacy as husband, dad, grandpa and great-grandfather always brought a big smile to his face and a loud chuckle that could be heard far and wide.

He was respected for being loyal, warm, hardworking and welcoming, a good man who will be missed by all.

Jim was preceded in death by his son, James Michael Jr.; and his siblings, Barbara, Madeline, Joanne, Gilmer, Margaret and Doris.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Janet Myrna Retzel Baker; his children, Jay Allan (the late Lisa), Jeanne Baker (the late William Walsh) and William Arthur (Dawn Rita); his grandchildren, Michael (Aime), Casey (Megan), Neena Jade, Zachary, Kiona and Owen; his great-grandchildren, Ellie and Noah; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, at Cappetta's West Suburban Funeral Home, 4920 Main St., Downers Grove.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 29, at Zion Lutheran Church, 204 S. Grant St., Hinsdale. A luncheon reception in the church fellowship hall will follow.

Burial will be at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Oak Brook.