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County mourns commissioner Dr. Carl Baker

CHESAPEAKE – Dr.

Saturday, November 25, 2000

CHESAPEAKE – Dr. Carl T. Baker, DVM, former county commissioner and longtime veterinarian, died Thursday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, W.Va. He was 67.

Dr. Baker, affectionately known as "Doc," held three terms on the county’s highest governing board and served the Chesapeake Board of Education for two terms.

He was a Korean War veteran of the U.S. Army, a graduate of West Virginia University and Ohio State University and the author of "Doc, Don’t Tell Anyone" – a collection of stories about his 30-plus years as a veterinarian.

Commissioner George Patterson, who both won and lost against Dr. Baker in political races for the commission, called him a strong county leader.

"We became friends and I found him to be a straight shooter," he said. "He cared about the county. And if Doc told you something, you just carried it to the bank."

One of Dr. Baker’s chief missions was to establish the emergency 911 center, which is now a reality, Patterson said.

Dr. Baker worked hard for water projects and his concern for animals merged with the Lawrence County Humane Society’s work and the county’s new dog pound, Patterson added.

Dr. Baker left his commission chair in 1998, deciding not to run again.

In the introduction to his book, Dr. Baker chronicled his family’s life – from Indiana to West Virginia to Ohio – and his father’s service in the steel and farming industries, which led them to South Africa for a time.

Dr. Baker started on the road to veterinary medicine after a tour of duty in Korea. He started in politics after attending a school board meeting, he wrote.

"There is no explanation for ‘Political Magnetism’ but it caught me by the ‘You can do something’ and became my ‘What do I do in my spare time’ part of life," Dr. Baker wrote.

Although he had become a public figure, and helped ensure the county had 911 service – one of the projects he loved most – Dr. Baker was a very private person, said Dee Staley, a close friend of the family.

"The whole community lost a wonderful, wonderful leader," Mrs. Staley said. "I don’t think I knew anyone as intelligent. He always worked for the best of the county, no matter what party and I’ve seen him work on animals other vets would give up on.

"We will really miss him."

Funeral services for Dr. Baker will be 1 p.m. Monday at Chesapeake United Methodist Church.

Dr. Carl T. Baker started on the road to veterinary medicine after a tour of duty in Korea. He started in politics after attending a school board meeting, he wrote in his book, "Doc, Don’t Tell Anyone."

"There is no explanation for ‘Political Magnetism’ but it caught me by the ‘You can do something’ and became my ‘What do I do in my spare time’ part of life," Dr. Baker wrote.

Although he had become a public figure, and helped ensure the county had 911 service – one of the projects he loved most – Dr. Baker was a very private person, said Dee Staley, a close friend of the family.

"The whole community lost a wonderful, wonderful leader," Mrs. Staley said. "I don’t think I knew anyone as intelligent. He always worked for the best of the county, no matter what party and I’ve seen him work on animals other vets would give up on.

"We will really miss him."