Lawrence Earl Baker of Haumoana, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, formerly of Lawton, died October 4, 2016 at his home surrounded by his family.
His service was held at Crestwood Funeral Home, Hastings, New Zealand on October 11, 2016 at 2 p.m. He was cremated and his ashes will be in the family crematorium site a the Hastings Cemetery in Hastings, New Zealand.
Lawrence Earl Baker, son of Richard R. and Florence Baker, was born on January 4, 1934, at the family home in Ute, Iowa.
He attended school in the Mapleton and Lawton area. He graduated from Lawton High School with the class of 1953. After leaving school, he joined the Marines and graduated as a medic serving in Japan, Iwo Jima, and the Philippines. He was discharged in 1957.
In 1953, he married Ilene Burns. They had three sons: Robin, born in January 1955; Shannon, born in February 1963; and Richard in February 1964; living in Moville and Sioux City, Iowa.
Lawrence worked for the local county on maintenance, and also at Raskins and Swift Packing houses in Sioux City.
In 1971, he moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado and worked for Stone Sanitation in the American Beef plant.
On February 19, 1972, he married Margaret Hutcheson in Fort Morgan, Colorado. He was then transferred to Liberal, Kansas and then up to Tama, Iowa, while continuing to work for Stone Sanitation.
In October 1973, Larry and Margaret moved to New Zealand, first settling in Te Awanga and then purchasing a home in Haumoana, where Larry resided until his death.
In New Zealand, he worked for Pacific Freezing Co. Ltd. as a Quality Control Supervisor. He worked there until he retired from the meat industry in 1987. He then started up his own lawn mowing business, which he continued until he retired in 1997.
Two of his sons, Shannon and Richard, immigrated to New Zealand in 1974. They continue to reside in the Haumoana area. He had three elder brothers, one older sister, and one younger brother whom he visited on a regular basis over the years.
Larry never gave up his citizenship. He traveled back to the U.S. every 2-4 years to visit the rest of his family: Chuck and Tami Hayes and family and Barry Thomas and family.
Surviving him are his wife, Margaret; his three sons: Robin and Ruth Baker of Sioux City; Shannon Baker and Richard and Joanne Baker of New Zealand; his sister, Marcella Thomas of Kingsley; his grandchildren: Shelby Baker of New Zealand; and Sarah, Rebekah, Jordan, Jackson, and Nicholas Baker of Sioux City.
Preceding him in death were his parents and his four brothers: Jack, Harmon, Willard, and Peary.