Dr. Clayton Baker
Dr. Clayton Baker (93) was born April 29, 1927, in Cincinnati Ohio to Marion Kenus and Sarah Jane Allen Baker. He was the youngest of eight siblings that included four sisters (Rhoda, Sudie,Thelma, Edith) and three brothers (Hiram, Edward, David), all of whom preceded him in death.
In 1938 the Baker family moved to a farm in southeastern Indiana where Dr. Baker began his formal education in a one-room schoolhouse. He enlisted in the USN “for the duration plus six months” after his junior year at Versailles High School. Despite his early departure from high school, he had accumulated enough credits to graduate as part of the class of 1945.
For basic training, Dr. Baker went to Great Lakes Naval Training Station, then to Terminal Island, California, for further instruction. His assignment to U.S.S.Salisbury Sound, a seaplane tender, took him to Pearl Harbor, Guam, Shanghai, Okinawa, Tsingtao, returning him to San Francisco to be discharged in August, 1946. On June 2, 1957, he married Constance Jane LaJohn in her hometown of Lakewood, New York. They had a long-lasting marriage of nearly 64 years. Together they enjoyed playing golf, attending opera/theatre presentations, especially at I.U., exercising at the gym, as well as spending the winter months in South Florida.
Constance survives, along with his two daughters, Cara Jane Baker of Bloomington, and Spanish teacher Cathy Jo Baker of Crawfordsville; his granddaughter Laurel Nicole Richmond (Daniel) of Pittsboro, and two great-granddaughters, Collins Jane Richmond and Ellis Nicole Richmond.
While he very much enjoyed his military experiences, he decided not to reenlist in order to go to school. Dr. Baker earned his B.A. at Ball State University, followed by an M.A. at Indiana University in 1955, ultimately obtaining a Ph.D. from I.U. in 1969.
During his long career as an educator, he taught in various locales that include the former University High School in Bloomington, IN; Ohio University, Ohio State University, but most importantly Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where he chaired the Spanish Department for over a decade. In the course of his tenure at IUPUI, Dr. Baker served as president of the Indiana chapter of the AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese), A major service he rendered was organizing AATSP’s National Spanish Examination in Indiana, a language contest for high school students, along with “Joe Mason Day” competitions.
After a wonderful career spanning three decades, Dr. Baker retired from IUPUI as Associate Professor Emeritus in June 1992. At that time he was named outstanding university Spanish professor of the year by Indiana’s chapter of the AATSP.
When he was not in the classroom, Dr. Baker was a voracious reader who enjoyed works by WEB Griffin, Clive Cussler, and Ernest Hemingway, among others. Growing vegetables every summer brought him many days of pleasure, as did spending time with his granddaughter.
There will be no service or visitation. Dr. Baker will be interred in Valhalla Memory Gardens with military honors. The family requests any donations be made to Disabled American Veterans, Dr. Baker’s preferred charity, 575 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or www.dav.org. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.DeremiahFryeMortuary.com.