James Baker, 95, Architect, Longtime Darien Resident, Active Sportsman, Coach, Volunteer


Image by Willie Wax on Wikimedia Commons

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James M. Baker, husband of Katharin Harvey Baker, passed away Saturday Nov. 18 at Atria Assisted/Senior Living in Darien.


Image by Willie Wax on Wikimedia Commons

Image by Willie Wax on Wikimedia Commons

Born on Dec. 12, 1921 in New York City, he was the son of James A. and Lavinia Baker. Jim attended Kings School in Stamford and the Gunnery Prep School in Washington, Conn., where he enjoyed playing tennis and hockey.

During World War II, James served his country in the Navy with the rank of First Class Petty Officer, performing the duties of a sonar technician from 1942-1945.


an obituary from Edward Lawrence Funeral Home


In preparation for a life long career in architecture, James attended the Pratt Institute and Columbia University. As an architect, Jim was employed by William H. Hall Associates in New York, as well as other firms in New York and Fairfield County.

Jim married his wife Katharin in 1953. They were active members of St. Bartholomew’s Church and the Community House Club. After the birth of their third child in 1960, the family moved to Darien where their fourth child was born.

He was an active member of St. Luke’s Church and one of his many contributions was as an architectural consultant for construction and renovation projects there.

Jim was an avid sailor and enjoyed sailing several sloops through the years with his family and friends. He also was a Power Squadron instructor and a member of both Norwalk and Ischoda Yacht clubs.

Hockey was another sport Jim had a passion for, coaching his two sons in their youth then playing for the Darien Winter Club where he was known as “Animal.” He also played in a few of Charles Shultz’s senior hockey tournaments in California. Jim volunteered for Meals on Wheels for years, delivering meals to seniors in Stamford.

In addition to his wife, Katharin, Jim is survived by four children and their spouses: Heidi Scheckler husband Thomas of Norwalk, Eric Baker and his wife Mary of Minnesota, Duncan Baker and his wife Lupe of Nebraska and Lorna Young and her husband Todd of Norwalk. James has 5 grandchildren: Samuel and Roger Scheckler, Drayton Baker, A.J. and Jessica Hernandez, Peter and Lila Young; and one great-grandson, Gracyn Hernandez.

The family would like to thank those who cared for Jim with such great patience at Atria in his final days. A special thanks goes out Nicole Martin Smith.

Visiting hours are from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 at Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road in Darien. A memorial service and celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Road in Darien.

Contributions may be made in his name to Person-to-Person, 1864 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820 or Meals on Wheels of Stamford, 945 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06905.

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