I received word this morning that Craig Baker passed away during the night last night. Craig was a neighbor and a friend. Craig was also a lifelong resident of Milford and the grandson of the long-time Huron Valley teacher named Bertha Baker, for who the recently demolished Baker Grade School was named when it was built. Craig’s father ran the drug store in Milford for many years.
I knew Craig as a neighbor and fellow board member on the Milford Historical Society Board of Directors. I walked my dogs by Criag’s house 3-4 times a day and often encountered he and his dog Willie out in the yard. We always stopped and chatted. Craig was a big man, as was his dog Willie, And both could appear to be intimidating, until you got to know them. Craig was a gentle giant with a soft heart who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. And Willie was a lumbering Laborador who just wanted a quick sniff and maybe a pet on the head.
Craig always had a story about something from Milford’s past and was a walking history book about people and places long gone in Milford. He had a lawn tractor with a blade on it and often cleared the snow from the sidewalks on both sides of Union Street all the way from Detroit St. to Union St. He also cleared the drives of several of the elderly widows in the area and for the last couple of year of the Milford Historical Museum, too.
I’m sure that other lifelong residents of Milford have lots of stories to share about Craig in his younger years. From the snippets that he shared with me from time to time Craig had his share of youthful adventures in Milford while growing up and a few as an adult. No one could accuse Craig of being devious or coy – he always let you know where he stood on things and held many strong opinions on local issues. We often talked about those, too.
Craig attended a little neighborhood party at my house the day before he entered the hospital for complications from kidney stones. He never returned home from that months long battle to recover in various hospitals. I will miss Craig and our little chats every day. Rest in peace Craig Baker.