WILLIAM "BILL" BAKER, 55 of Ogallala, passed away Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
William was born January 15, 1963, at Bethel, North Carolina to Joe and Juanita (Martin) Baker, Jr. The family moved around frequently throughout Bill's younger years, but one of the most important stops along the way was Ogallala, Nebraska, where Bill would meet the love of his life, Tammy Standage, and graduate from high school in 1981.
On June 13, 1981, Bill married Tammy at the First United Methodist Church in Ogallala. Their union was blessed in a great many ways, but chief among them would be their two children, their very special granddaughter, and their beloved "grandpuppies" as they were affectionately called. The bond that they shared was always a special one, and both Bill and Tammy reciprocally pointed to each other as having embodied what it was to be loving. Bill had spent some years working as a Schwan's man around the Wray and Holyoke, CO areas before eventually going to work at ASC. He was a "people person," and making meaningful connections always seemed to come easily for Bill. For instance, a simple trip to the store on a Sunday afternoon would often result in a return home after dark, due to the friendly visits that always became part of the outing. Warmth and kindness were simply built into Bill's temperament. He did not know strangers, simply people he'd not yet had a chance to befriend.
While Bill's life has proven to be far too short, he most certainly lived it with uncommon spirit. He had a tremendous appreciation for all things BBQ, and his southern upbringing proved to influence the kind of pitmaster he would become. He enjoyed NASCAR, fishing, and simply adored his granddaughter, Kaydance Joy (who was also his hands-down favorite fishing buddy). Meals were often a great joy at the Baker house because they involved some of Bill's favorite things, grilling, eating great food, and spending quality time with the ones he loved most. Things won't be the same without Bill, but the way he lived life and his easygoing grin will be remembered for a very long while by those who loved him.
Bill was preceded in death by his grandparents; brother, Joe, the 3rd.; his parents-in-law, Kenneth and Evelyn Standage; Grand Parents Taft and Ima May Martin; Joe Sr. And Bertha Baker; nieces Jennifer and Jeanna Standage.
Survivors include the love of his life, Tammy Baker of Ogallala; son, Ashley Ryan (Angie) Baker of Imperial; daughter, Miranda (Josh) Gallagher of Belle Fourche, SD; granddaughter, Kaydance Joy of Belle Fourche, SD; parents, Joe and Juanita Baker of NC; sister, Anita Jo (Butch) Thompson of NC; brother, Charlie (Amber) Baker of GA; along with many other relatives, friends, and those special grandpuppies.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Bill's memory for later designation. Condolences can be shared at prairiehillsfuneralhome.com.
Memorial services will be held Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 2:00 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Ogallala with Rev. Chuck Rager officiating. No interment of cremains is planned at this time.
A memorial book signing will be Monday, November 12th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Ogallala is in charge of arrangements.