DECATUR, GA - Rick Lynd Baker, 68, died peacefully at his home in Decatur, GA on May 12, 2020, with loving family at his side. Born Nov. 9, 1951 in Akron, OH, Rick was the second of four sons born to Harold and Wanda (Lind) Baker, proprietors of “Baker’s Acres”, a popular swim park turned 18 hole golf course in Tallmadge Ohio. Rick attended Kent State University High School, swimming competitively for the “Statesmen”. He attended Ohio University on an athletic scholarship, lettering in swimming all four years, while also an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated from OU in 1974 with a B.S. in Marketing, thereafter embarking on a lifetime career in the truck sales/leasing industry, starting at Penske, where he quickly rose to the top of the sales ladder, and retiring from National Lease as a National Account Executive.
Rick continued to swim into his adulthood, competing in “Masters” leagues, and he enjoyed volunteering as a sideline judge for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. He owned and self-managed several residential investment properties, starting this venture at an early age in partnership with his brothers. Rick had an uncompromising work ethic and a dynamic but gentle personality that served him well throughout his entire life, both personally and professionally.
Rick was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer in April 2020. In the days leading up to his passing, he received an outpouring of cherished letters from friends and colleagues, from every stage of his life, all lovingly reflecting on the impact he had made on each one of them. A common theme was his kindness, loyalty, perseverance, and the valuable mentorship he provided. This outpouring of support brought Rick a sense joy and comfort in his final days for which his entire family will forever be grateful.
Rick is preceded in death by his father Harold, and is survived by his adoring mother, Wanda. He leaves behind a heartbroken wife, Megan (Brettell) Baker, whom he married on June 27, 2015; as well as two children from a previous marriage, Patrick Baker of Norfolk VA, and Jaclyn Baker of Denver Colorado. Rick is also survived by step-daughter, Samantha Pagley; three grandchildren, Andrew, Olivia, and Royal; and all of his brothers, Rand, Robert, and Ronald. He also leaves behind three nephews, Zac, Matthew, and Ryan Baker, all of whom have nothing but fond memories of their uncle Rick.
A memorial celebrating Rick’s life will announced at a later date, to take place at Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home, Cuyahoga Falls. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rick’s memory to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation (NPCF) P.O. Box 1848, Longmont CO 80502. Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home, 330-928-2147. (CFNP, 5/24/20)