1935 Billy 2022

Billy Joe Baker, Sr.

April 24, 1935 — December 9, 2022

Southfield, Michigan


One of the few advantages of dying from a terminal disease, is that you have time to write your own obituary.

I was born in Mineola, Texas on April 24, 1935, and grew up on Baker Street,
attended Mineola public schools, graduated from high school in the Navy
Academy in 1952. Aside from mopping the decks and eating navy beans
everyday this experience taught me how to become a man. When I was
nineteen, I reenlisted in the Air Force and traveled around the country. This
was during the Jim Crowe days life for us was very tough. After I left the
military, I was a lifelong Michigan resident but lived in Chicago too.
In my professional life, I was a brakeman at Railroad Express, Shipping and
Receiving clerk at GM and a security officer. I retired early from GM and
enjoyed going to the river, casino, playing cards, dominoes, and visiting
home. I shared my love for traveling with my children and visited all the
states on the west coast.
I was proceeded in death by my generous and loving parents Odis and Ola
Mae, my brother little Otis, and sister Enola. I am survived by my wife,
Rebecca and our two adult children: son, Billy Jr. and daughter, Michelle.
Also, my daughter Patricia, 9 grandchildren (Montrel, Andrew, Eboni,
Sheniqua, Diamond, Jacob, Billy III, D'ante, Shante), 6 great-grandchildren,
nieces, and nephews, in-law (Corrine Rodgers), and friends. Me and
Rebecca was married on May 11, 1968, I thank you for standing by me to
the end. Billy and Michelle, I love you so much and thank you for helping me
during my final months. Michelle I’m so proud of you and I know you will do
well in law school and remember even the teachers had to learn; no one
came in this world knowing everything. I wish you both such good things.
I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard. But I
was a lucky man, who led a lucky life on my terms and for this I am grateful.
I haven’t been feeling well for a long time, even before I fell ill in 2021 but
decided to be grateful about having had a full life, rather than sad about
having to die. At any rate, I am at peace. I’m grateful that I got to see my
"Jaki" graduate and become a fine young man. I’m very proud of you and
want you to do good things in life. I’m very proud of you too BJ despite all
odds against you, graduated high school and have your own place. I’m
proud of all my family. Ron thank you for everything you have done for me.
We treated each other like family. Becky, Billy, Michelle, Jacob knowing
and loving each one of you was the best story of my life. I know we will
meet again, on the other side.
Billy Joe

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Billy Joe Baker Obituary-Print-Quote.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, January 5, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Kemp Funeral Home & Cremation Services

24585 Evergreen Rd, Southfield, MI 48075


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Graveside Service

Saturday, January 14, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Cedars Memorial Garden Cemetery

1830 S Pacific St, Mineola, TX 75773

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