With broken hearts, we tell you M/Sgt John Kenneth Baker died of a sudden heart attack at his home in Fukuoka, Japan, on Oct. 1, 2014.
Kenny and his brother, James Daniel (Dannie), graduated Logan Elm High School in 1962 and soon after enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on the buddy system. Kenny went on to serve in the Security Services Branch for 20 years and retired after serving several tours of duty in places like Italy, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Okinawa, Japan, as well as other stateside assignments. Kenny then retired to Japan with his family and wife of 41 years, Yumiko Fujimoto.
Kenny retired as a Master Sergeant, Level E-8. A few of the medals and ribbons Kenny received are the Distinguished Flying Cross Medals; The Air Force Commendation Medals; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon ; The Air Force Longivity Service Award (4th Oak Leaf Cluster); The Air Force Good Conduct Medal (5th Oak Leaf Cluster); The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (6th Oak Leaf Cluster); and many other air medals and commendations.
Kenny was decorated for 200 missions over the Republic of Vietnam. During Kenny’s time of service, his brothers, Jerald (Dick) and Harold (Eddy), enlisted in the Air Force. All four of “The Baker Boys” had enlisted in the Air Force at a time when draftees were burning their draft cards or going to Canada to avoid service. At one point, Kenny and Eddy were in “Nam” together.
Kenny is survived by his wife, Yumiko; daughters, June Kazumi Fujimoto and Junko Kendra Baker; and grandson, Shun Fujimoto in Fukuoka, Japan. He is also survived by his daughter, Jonnette Kazue Baker, and son, John Kenneth Baker Jr., of Niceville, Florida. John also leaves behind his sisters Jeanette Cilley-Beaverton of Michigan and Judith Baker-Peters of Jupiter, Florida. Kenny’s brothers, James Daniel of Circleville and Jerald Richard (Edith) of Turtle Lake, North Dakota, also survive. Kenny is uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Edith Baker of Circleville; his sister, Janice Korbus of Ft. Mill, South Carolina; brother, Harold Edison (Eddy) Baker of Lincoln, California; brothers-in-law, James Cilley of Beaverton, Michigan, and Dr. Paul J. Peters of Jupiter, Florida; and sister-in-law, DeeAnn Baker of Circleville.
We are very proud of Kenny’s military accomplishments and his love for his family and country. A military Honor Guard graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. May 18, 2015 at Forest Cemetery in Circleville.
On Eagles’ Wings, Kenny! Our hearts are broken! You are loved and missed by all!
We invite you to share a fond memory, thoughts or condolences at www.wellmanfuneralhomes.com.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal