Richard John Baker, 78, of Westerville died on Sunday, September 26, 2021, after a battle with metastatic colorectal cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. Born March 31, 1943, in Pittsburgh, he moved in 1948 with his family to Coshocton where he grew up. He attended the Coshocton public schools, was graduated from Coshocton High School in 1961 and received a bachelor's degree in history from Miami University in 1966. While at Miami, he earned three varsity letters in golf and was captain of the Miami golf team in his junior and senior years. Later, he earned a master's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. After a brief career as a sportswriter for several Ohio newspapers, he joined the Ohio Education Association in 1968 as a staff writer. In 1984 he became editor of Ohio Schools magazine, OEA's main membership publication, and served in that position until his retirement in 1997.
He was a member of Public Relations Society of America, Central Ohio PRSA, the National Education Association State Education Editors, the NEA Public Relations Council, and Sigma Delta Chi. He was a member of York Lodge #563, Free and Accepted Masons and was a former member of York Golf Club and the Coshocton Town and Country Club. He was a former member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Coshocton and most recently attended the Church of the Messiah, United Methodist church, in Westerville. He was a founder, 51-year board member, and executive director of the Mid-Ohio Golf Association of Coshocton. His passion was sports, both as participant as a youth and later as an armchair fan.
His life's focus was on the loving members of his family to whom he was deeply devoted. He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Elizabeth Baker of Coshocton, and father-and mother-in-law Anson and Violet Cook of Columbus. He is survived by his wife Catherine Cook Baker of Westerville. Their marriage was in its forty-ninth year. He is also survived by daughter and son-in-law Amy Parker and Matthew Parker of Westerville, daughter, and son-in-law Dr. Susan Baker Brehm and Tom Brehm of West Chester, grandsons Aiden Parker of Westerville and Zachary Brehm of West Chester, granddaughter Elizabeth Brehm of West Chester, sister and husband Kathy and Scott Thompson of Coshocton and nephews Christopher Harrison and wife Heather of Brighton, Michigan, and Andrew Harrison, wife Alexandria and their daughters Penny and Anna of Thessaloniki, Greece.
Burial will be at Kingwood Cemetery at Lewis Center. Friends are invited to make a contribution to the charity of their choice.