HLM Bob Baker 2003

About Bob: HLM Bob Baker (our 2004 Big Sir) was raised in Buhl, Idaho. Each October school students would be excused for 10-days in order to help farmers pick that year’s potato crop. During high school years he was part of an eight-piece dance orchestra that would travel up to 100 miles away playing for various dances.

Upon high school graduation in 1943, Bob enlisted in the Navy’s V-5 air cadet program. When the war ended in 1945 , he frugally saved the Navy-provided bus fare by hitch-hiking home from San Francisco to Idaho. He graduated from the University of Idaho courtesy of the GI Bill. Bob managed the family’s Kaiser/Fraiser agency which was later sold in 1950. For the next two years he was an independent used car dealer, who bought used cars at a Denver, Colorado car auction and would bi-weekly drive one (and tow one) to re-sell at another auction in Portland, Oregon.

In 1952 he married Bonnie Lou, a happy marriage that lasted 35 years. He worked for Gamble-Skogmo’s Western Auto as a Manager Trainee and a year later became manager of their newly-opened Elko, Nevada Western Auto store. In 1956 he began working for Lennox Heating and Air Conditioning in their Salt Lake City Purchasing Department. He worked 33 years for Lennox at their Salt Lake, Portland and Sacramento Divisional offices.

In 1987 his wife became seriously ill with cancer. Following her 1988 death Bob worked an additional year adjusting to single life. His friends encouraged him to join SIR and play golf.  Bob has brought in (11) new members.