Gaither E. Baker passed away July 1, 2014, at Jefferson Healthcare Hospital in Port Townsend, Wash., of age-related causes. He was born in Coupeville, Wash., on Oct. 7, 1920, to Gaither E. Baker Sr. and June W. (Pedersen) Baker.
Gaither grew up on the Olympic Peninsula in Belfair, Lilliwaup and Hoquiam. His family later moved to Seattle where he graduated from Ballard High School in 1938. He was on the high school track team. As a young man, Gaither enjoyed downhill skiing, golf, tennis, and bowling.
While attending the University of Washington he joined the Washington National Guard’s 205th Coast Artillery Regiment. The unit was mobilized in Feb. 1941, to serve one year of active service. After Worldl War II started he served until the end of the war. After becoming his unit’s 1st sergeant, he earned an officer’s commission in the Army. He then served in the Philippines.
In 1949 he met and married the love of his life, Bonnie Money. They raised their family in Southern California. Gaither worked for Stanley Tools as a sales representative for 30 years covering the southern California and Arizona regions. After retirement Gaither and Bonnie traveled until 1984 when they built their dream home in Port Townsend. He was also a past member of the Port Townsend Rotary Club.
Preceded in death by his two younger brothers Charles and Robert, he is survived by his wife Bonnie Baker; sons Donald and Scott (wife Susan); daughter Janet and grandsons James, Jacob, and Jason.
Gaither was a true gentleman and had a zest for life. He loved and cherished his wife and family and was always there to help and support them.
Services will be held at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash. at 12:30 p.m. on July 9. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.