Verlin Morris Baker, 92, of Keokuk died Thursday, September 24, 2020 at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL.
He was born April 7, 1928 in Memphis, MO the son of Andrew J. and H. Blanche Fincher Baker. Verlin graduated from high school in Downing, MO with the Class of 1946. Following high school he worked as a truck driver on a milk route and then for Cameron Joyce Construction on the road crew as a large equipment operator.
In January of 1951, Verlin was drafted into the United States Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War.
On November 25, 1954 Verlin was united in marriage to Roberta Ann Seamster at the Baptist church in Downing, MO. She preceded him in death on January 23, 2011.
Following his military service Verlin went to college on the GI Bill and graduated from Kirksville Teachers College in Kirksville, MO and Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. He held a double Master’s Degree (and twenty-six hours post grad) in Education and Administration.
Verlin began his teaching career in Scotland County Missouri and spent some time teaching in a one room School House. In 1958 Verlin relocated to Keokuk and began a thirty-one year career with the Keokuk Community School District. He taught at Lincoln elementary school for one year, was the assistant principal and 6th grade teacher at Garfield elementary school for eighteen years and then became assistant principal and 4th grade teacher at Wells Carey elementary school for twelve years, retiring in 1989. Following his retirement, he and his wife, Roberta, moved to Mountain Home, AR where Verlin remained unto 2018, when he moved back to Keokuk
Verlin was a member of the First Baptist Church in Keokuk and the Eastside Baptist Church in Mountain Home, AR. He also attended the Evangelical Free Church in Keokuk. He was a member of the Camping RV Group and was Wagon Master at the Sambories. He was also a member of the Good Sam Club in Mountain Home.
He loved traveling with his wife and they made trips to 49 out of 50 states, missing only Florida. Their travels included driving to Alaska twice. They had also enjoyed trips to Mexico and several provinces in Canada. Verlin served as a volunteer at the Baxter Regional Memorial Hospital in Mountain Home for twenty-nine years and also volunteered as a driver for Hospice for two years.
He is survived by his daughter, Margaret Lefler (Mike) of Hamilton, IL, his son, Roger Baker (Sheila) of Chugiak, AK, four grandchildren, Brad Lefler, Randy Lefler, Becky Baker and Curtis Baker, eight great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, one sister, Martha Montgomery of Minden, NE, along with several nieces and nephews.
Besides his wife he was also preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, Doris Schubach, Dorothy Current and Norma Cotton, three brothers in law and several aunts and uncles.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Evangelical Free Church in Keokuk with Pastor Joan DeBoe and Pastor Jeff Higbee officiating. Social distancing requirements will be in place and masks are strongly encouraged.
There will be no visitation.
Burial with Military Rites will be held in the Keokuk National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Evangelical Free Church Youth Program.
The Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk is assisting the family with arrangements.
On-line condolences may be sent to the family at www.vigenmemorialhome.com.