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Fletcher Baker Jr., 73

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Fletcher Chapman Baker Jr. was born in Tulsa, Okla., on Feb. 28, 1937, to Lois (Fleming) and Fletcher C. Baker Sr. He died at the age of 73 years and 9 days on March 9, 2010, in River Falls, Wis. He graduated from Will Rogers High School, Tulsa, in 1955. He then attended Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., where he graduated in 1960 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture. Fletch lived in numerous areas until hired in 1965 by Hormel Corporation. In 1966, he married Joyce Hayden and settled in Gibbon, Minn. He was the devoted father of three children: Dallas, Danielle and Darrick. The family moved to Austin, Minn., where Fletcher continued his work with Hormel in the corporate offices until 1981. After leaving Hormel, he moved to the Twin Cities until eventually settling in River Falls. Heritage Square Apartments, Audiology Associates and UWRF were some of his places of employment. He married Elaine Hildebrandt in 1999, whom he loved and cherished until his death.

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Fletcher was very involved with the First United Methodist Church of River Falls where he sang with the Senior Choir. He also was an active member of the Lions Club where you would often find him flipping pancakes or cooking brats. He held the positions of president and Lions International Zone Chair. He had been a member of the Masonic Lodge and also belonged to the Shriners. In his youth, he was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, where he continued to be involved until adulthood as Scout Master. He used the Austin Community Theater and the ToastMasters to overcome any fears of performing and speaking in public, which lead to the many and ever popular raps he used to entertain crowds at special Lion events. He also belonged to the Trollhaugen Ski Patrol.

Fletcher loved the outdoors, travel and adventure. He was an accomplished waterskier, loved to dance, and after many years of downhill skiing, joined the ski patrol. He loved the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and made a trip every year for over 20 years with the church youth group. He also loved to golf and looked forward to his annual golf trips with his golf buddies. Fletch was a devoted Twins and Vikings fan through the good and bad times. He was the number one fan of each of his children during their sporting events, and usually the loudest. Watching his grandchildren participate in their events was important to him, and he would go out of his way to cheer them on. His stories, quirkiness, energy and zest for life will be missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lois (Fleming) and Fletcher C. Baker, Sr., and his niece, Maggie McBride.

He is loved, missed and survived by his wife, Elaine; his brother, Alvin (Nancy) Baker, and his sister, Sue McBride; his children, Dallas Baker, Dani (Brent) Birkeland, and Darrick (Jill) Baker; his stepchildren, Cori, Kelly and Jacob Hildebrandt; his grandchildren, Chelsea, Hayley and Kensey Baker, Cam and Shane Birkeland, and Leah and Anna Baker; his nephew and nieces, Duncan (Julie) McBride, Debra (Bill) Diercks, Kendall Baker and Mollie McBride.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, March 15, at United Methodist Church in River Falls with Reverend Janet Ellinger and Father Gerald Harris officiating. Family and friends are welcome to call on Sunday from 5-9 p.m. at the church and again on Monday one hour prior to the service at church. Masonic Lodge #109 will perform a service at 7:30 p.m. Sunday night at church.

In lieu of flowers a memorial is being established for all of Fletcher's community involvements.

Online condolences at www.cashmanhillfuneralservice.com.

The family of Fletcher Baker would like to thank everyone for all of their support, prayers and well wishes during this difficult time. Each and every one of you is appreciated and loved.

Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Services of River Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.

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