Wetzel Lee Baker, 77 - Big Springs

Wetzel Lee Baker, 77, passed away at his home in Big Springs, West Virginia on April 7, 2007.

He was born April 4, 1930, in West Hamlin, Lincoln County, WV, the second son of the late John H. and Vera E. McClellan Baker.

He left school after the 8th grade to help support his family, working the family farm and as a lumberjack. At 17, the blue-eyed, black, curly haired young man entered the US Army. Being a small man, he ate bananas to bulk-up for his weight requirement. He served first in occupied Japan and then in the Korean War, serving 18 months in Korea with Company H, 7th Calvary Regiment. He left the Army in 1951 and joined the US Air Force in 1952. Wetzel worked for 30 years with TRW Corp. in Cleveland, Ohio. He resided first in Cleveland, then moved to Munson, Ohio, then to Windsor, Ohio before moving back to Cleveland. Early Ohio friends remember Wetzel as an enthusiastic Beagle dog breeder and showman. Latter West Virginia friends knew him as an avid bee keeper. Wetzel was also a very active member of the New Testament Baptist Church in Big Springs.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Matreva Baker; three brothers, Bernard Baker of Kansas City, MO, Lester Baker of Chatham, OH, and Charles Baker of Fayetteville, NC.

He is survived by three daughters, Carma (Alan) Morris of Orwell, OH, Rose Miller and Stacey (Rob) Ludington of Rittman, OH, and one son, Timothy (Darilee) Baker also of Rittman; five step-children, Arthur Vanhoose and Peggy (Bobby) Lopez of Oak Glenn, KY, Gilford (Shirley) Vanhoose of Big Springs, Keith Ross of KY, and David Amburgy of OH. He will be sadly missed by his 21 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Wetzel is also survived by 3 brothers, Russell Baker of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Cecil Baker of FL, and George (Nancy) Baker of Mentor, OH; and 2 sisters, Janet Baker of West Hamlin, WV and Carol (Kenny) Putman of Concord, OH.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 at Stump Funeral Home, Grantsville. Rev. Matt Morrison will officiate. Interment will be in the Big Springs Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 11 a.m. Tuesday until time of services.