December 15, 1922 ~ March 4, 2014
Cecil Baker was born on December 15, 1922. He passed away on March 4, 2014. Cecil was a graduate of Topeka High School (1941) and the University of Kansas (1950). He served in WWII as a Marine Sargent in Hawaii, Nagasaki, and the battle of Iwo Jima. Cecil and his wife Anna Marie founded Midwestern Music in Topeka in 1958, which they ran until the early 2000s. As a child of The Depression, Cecil grew up playing a tin clarinet and became a distinguished musician against the odds. He made it his commitment in life that all children could have access to a decent instrument. He is responsible for providing musical instruments and opportunities to play for 50 years’ worth of children in Topeka. The legacy Cecil built in life was for the benefit of family. The Bakers have owned a cabin in Ouray since 1969 and frequently vacationed there. Inheriting their grandparents' adoration of the San Juans, Stephanie Willis and Dale Meador have been able to call Ouray home. He was a storyteller and could get a packed dinner table laughing uncontrollably. He is often thought of for his outward Marine persona—stoic, methodical, hardworking—but that was not nearly all of him. He was unbelievably generous, fun, adventurous, and a risk taker in business and in life. He and Anna Marie trekked all over the globe together and kept packed suitcases in their closets. He loved Native American art and jewelry, live music, new experiences, rescuing stray animals, slapstick humor, and taking care of others. But mostly he loved Anna Marie. The two were high school sweethearts and spent over seven decades together playing music. Cecil found inspiration in the Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Cecil’s gift was teaching those around him to think they can. See www.midwestcremationsociety.com for full obituary.