James Robert Baker, 59, passed away on Friday, July 5th, 2019 at the Golden Age Manor in Amery, WI. James was born Sunday September 6th, 1959 at St. Croix Valley Memorial hospital to Dorothy Lucille Clark Baker and Louis William Baker Jr.
James was baptized at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cushing, WI. James attended Kindergarten through 6th grade at Cushing Elementary School and then went to Junior High and High School at St. Croix Fall’s, graduating in 1977
James worked with his parents at the well known Baker Shell Service Station and Towing. James learned the tricks of trade at a young age and was very experienced with automotive repairs.
James took an interest in riding with the Laketown and Sterling Township constable, Stanley Christopherson. He learned law enforcement situations and public assistance in the area. This also was a stepping stone to getting hired with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department as a part time dispatcher and in April of 1979 became a full time employee with the department.
James joined the Cushing fire department when he was 15 years old and took his father’s retired position as assistant Chief.
James became interested in Emergency Medical Services in high school and took the EMT Basic course. He started out working with St. Croix Valley EMS and in 1979 began working with Park Funeral Home and Ambulance Service. There he worked as an assistant to the funeral director and EMT; Jim Park.
In 1983, James was recruited as an EMS instructor WITI in New Richmond, now known as WITC. James instructed EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement at WITC through 1990.
In 1986, James joined the Trollhaugen Ski Patrol to further his EMT services and became an Instructor as well as a Patroller for the area. James took additional training to achieve the role of Senior Patroller and then Assistant Patrol Director through 2000. James received National Recognition for his service to the National Ski Patrol, #8094.
Hobbies include Amateur radio operator Ham and Short wave, Motorola radio programming,
James met Wendy Kelly, his first love and was married in 1990. They resided in St. Croix Falls for seven years Sept, 1997.
Later he met Kelly Bates through the National Ski Patrol and Kelly moved from Golden, CO to Luck, WI in December of 1999. They lived together for 10 years. They were married in December of 2003. Kelly and James adopted Leon on March 4th 2006 on Leon’s 4th birthday; he was from Milwaukee, WI.
He retired from Polk County Sheriff’s Office April 2004 after 25 years of service. He then worked for Life Link 3 in Minneapolis as an EMT/Medic until July 2011.
James leaves to celebrate his memory: son, Leon Baker and other family and friends.
Celebration of Life will be held at the Kolstad Family Funeral Home in Centuria on Thursday, July 11, 2019 from 12 Noon until 2:00 P.M. followed by interment services at the Cushing Cemetery at 2:30 P.M.
The Kolstad Family Funeral Home of Centuria has been entrusted with arrangements.