Obituary: Bill Bert Baker

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Posted at 4:51 PM, Dec 05, 2022

Our loving, sweet, kind, funny, smart, patient, generous, and thoughtful husband and father, Bill Bert Baker, took his final breath just after midnight on November 19, 2022. We take comfort knowing he is in His Kingdom now with loved ones who have gone before us.

Bert (Daddy) lived a long and remarkable life. He was born on September 25, 1931 in Blum, TX to Forrest Monroe, a real estate broker, and Hattie Clara (Bentley) Baker, a schoolteacher and homemaker. As a child he enjoyed summers with his maternal grandparents, C. E. and Gracie Harriet (Holland) Bentley, on their farm in Era, TX. Near age ten, the family moved to Fort Worth where, as a teenager, he learned to fly, earning his pilot’s license at age 16. After high school, Daddy joined the U.S. Air Force serving as an ECM radar operator on a B-36 during the Korean War.

Daddy used his G.I. bill to attend the University of Texas at Austin, graduating in three years with a degree in petroleum engineering and a job with Gulf Oil. Daddy had a passion for flying and with his first paycheck from Gulf, he bought a small Aircoupe airplane which he flew to commute home to Fort Worth from the oil fields in west Texas. Work with Gulf Oil would take Daddy on a remarkable 30-year journey around the world, helping lead oil exploration in dozens of countries throughout Europe and Africa.

While living in Copenhagen, Daddy worked on a project with Gulf in the Adriatic, off the coast of Italy. As fate would have it, Mom was home in Trani, Italy on holiday from her work in London and they met at a party. They remained together for the next 50 years, until his final breath.

To us, Daddy could do it all - a pilot at 16, a USAF war vet, a talented artist and musician, an incredible dancer, a gifted storyteller with a witty sense of humor, a fantastic cook, an avid gardener, and accomplished engineer.

He is preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Grace Katherine (Boyce) Pennington, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

Bert was the devoted husband of Amelia (Ursi) of Kenner, LA; loving father to daughters, Hattie Grace (David) Graham of Bozeman, MT, Virginia Lee (Nick) Marchiori of Cornelius, NC, and Madeline Ann Baker of Gonzales, LA; and adoring grandfather to Max (13), Liam (10), Francesca (5), and Nicholas (4). Survivors also include a brother-in-law, Vincenzo (Daniella and Anna) Ursi; nieces, Clara Lee (James) Lee, Elizabeth Ann Pennington, and Virginia and Giovanna Ursi; nephews, Robert Forrest (Deanna) Pennington and Alessandro Ursi; and cousins, Demetrice Leviah and Eloise Reynolds Carruthers.

Family services in Bozeman, MT have been held. A Funeral Mass in Kenner, LA will be held at Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 4337 Sal Lentini Pkwy, on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. with visitation from 10 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service in Bozeman. []