At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Mel Trotter Ministries
225 Commerce Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Generous, gregarious, and kind, Timothy Paul Baker lived a life rich in family and service. Tim possessed an adventurous spirit, an insatiable curiosity, and unwavering faith. Never one to complain, whether facing life's trials or celebrating its joys, Tim welcomed each day as a gift and every person as a friend. With tremendous courage, he used his struggles to deeply connect with others, often leading them to their own serenity. A devoted son, brother, father, grandfather, and friend, Tim was cherished by many. Though his days were far too few, he lived each one wholeheartedly, inspiring all who were blessed to know him.
The 1970s proved to be one of the nation's most tumultuous times, rocking with both thrilling highs and unnerving lows. News of the day included the end of the Vietnam War, the celebration of the free market, the establishment of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the growing oil crisis, and the infamous Watergate Scandal. The New York's World Trade Center became the tallest building in the world, while the newly constructed Sears Tower in Chicago was a close second. America's swift culture changes moved fashion from wide-bell bottoms to wide lapels and wide ties, while young people's hair grew longer, skirts grew even shorter. During these tense times, Tim was born on March 19, 1973. Four weeks later, he was adopted into the family of Pastor Ronald and Dena Baker, joining his older siblings, John and Deb.
At the time, the Baker family made their home on Sleeper Street in Kalamazoo, where Tim's mother worked as a Registered Nurse and a homemaker, and his father was a minister. Tim became a big brother in 1977 when his sister Beth joined the family. When Tim was eight, the family moved to 56th St. in Fennville, MI, as his father took a different church pastor position in the community.
Naturally inquisitive and daring, Tim was a little Dickens. While his fearlessness inspired a lot of adventure, it also resulted in occasional discomfort. As a kindergartener at West Elementary School, he fell backward, cutting his ear on the desk behind. His mother rushed him to the hospital, where he loudly proclaimed to the doctor, "You're killing me, you're killing me!" as he received painful stitches in his ear. He also burned his feet on hot outdoor grill coals that had been discarded on the ground at a picnic. With great curiosity, he intentionally walked on them! His father quickly whisked him away to a nearby pond to cool his feet! As a small child, he loved swimming in his grandparents' swimming pool in California. No matter how cold the weather was, he was insistent on swimming.
Tim's wonder with the world resulted in a fond fascination with the garbage men. Every week he would wait on garbage day for the trash to be picked up. The trash men were very fond of the toddler and allowed him to stand on the truck and help load the garbage. Tim also enjoyed traveling with his family every two years to California to visit his grandparents, as well as their many camping trips. Whether traveling by car, train, or airplane, Tim thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
A happy kid, Tim enjoyed exploring the outdoors with his siblings and neighborhood friends. Many games of Hide and Seek, marbles, and Tag were played. Tim loved the beach and water too. Tim attended Holland Christian Middle School in Holland, MI, and Martin High School, Martin, MI. A natural athlete, Tim loved sports, especially football, soccer, and baseball. A star on every team he played for, he was a great running back for his high school football team. He also enjoyed shop class, where he made a beautiful table for his mother that she cherishes to this day.
After graduating with the class of 1991, Tim followed his ambitions and adventurous spirit to Florida, where he quickly found rewarding work repairing boats in the bustling boating industry. The work served him well as he was good with his hands. He utilized the skills he learned during this time in other fields for the rest of is life, eventually working in the building and auto repair industries.
Soon after moving to Florida, a mutual friend introduced Tim to a beautiful young woman, Samantha Trevegno. He and Samantha fell in love and set their eyes on sharing the future. They soon moved to Seattle, Washington, where Samantha's mother lived and married in 1993. They eventually returned to Florida, settling in Lake Worth. Though their marriage ended in divorce after eight years, the couple was blessed with their daughter Lyric, who, in time, blessed Tim with his granddaughter Milani. After returning to Michigan, Tim had the good fortune of meeting Candace Porter while attending a church event. They became a couple, soon married and his second child arrived with this union, daughter Serena Baker. As a father, Tim enveloped his children in love and often inspired laughter with his big-hearted, goofy ways. He and his daughters especially enjoyed the trips they took together to his sister's family cottage in Dublin, MI.
Tim will be remembered for his gentle spirit, his sense of humor, his passion for all sports. A devoted fan of the Detroit Pistons, the L.A. Lakers, and all U of M teams, Tim also enjoyed listening to Tupac and other skilled rap artists. He learned a love of cooking and especially enjoyed serving his family many delicious creations. His specialty was pork barbecue with homemade sauce. Always very fashionable and stylish in appearance, he valued his sports team clothing and his fancy sneakers. He was drawn to children and those in need. He relished time with his children, granddaughter, nieces, and nephews, whom he absolutely adored. Tim also freely gave of all he could to those in need. Though he didn't have much, he often gave it all when called, even if it meant going without. By God's wonderful and powerful grace, Tim was winning the battle with substance abuse. Having found the serenity of sobriety, Tim gave others the gift as often as he could, bravely sharing his own experience, strength, and hope. As adults, Tim and his cousin Sher came to share a very special bond. Tim grew to depend on Sher when times were tough and always appreciated the safe harbor she afforded him.
While Tim's sudden departure leaves us feeling stunned, may we find comfort in knowing that he is free of Earthly constraints and has found eternal peace. May we also find comfort in carrying his legacy forward. With each moment we turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, freely give of our time and talents in service of others, and gather together with loved ones, we honor Tim's memory and celebrate his life.
Timothy Paul Baker was born in Grand Rapids, MI in the Spring of 1973 and passed away peacefully in his sleep October 9, 2020. Tim leaves behind his two daughters, Lyric Baker and Serena Baker and son, Isaiah Baker; one grandchild, Milani Thomas; sister Deb and Doug Stapley, brother John and Kathy Baker, sister Beth and Praymoun Srisomsak; his mother and father, Dena and Ron Baker; and girlfriend Dana Shoemaker and by his cherished nieces and nephews: Meagan, Brad, Aj, Daniel, Rachael, Morgan. By God’s wonderful and powerful grace Tim was winning the battle with substance abuse. Tim will be remembered for his gentle spirit, his sense of humor, his passion for all sports, especially University of Michigan sports. A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 1:00 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Alt-Shawmut Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504. Friends are encouraged to meet with family for visitation for one hour prior to the service beginning at 12 noon. This will be an outdoor event and social distancing and masks will be required. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mel Trotter Ministries (225 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). To read more about Tim's life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com