Kenneth Anthony Baker of Polo, MO and formerly of Bishop, CA died peacefully March 18th,
2020 at his home with his wife Cindy at his side at the age of 80. Ken was a devoted husband,
father, and educator.
Ken was born on September 15th, 1939 the son of Anthony and Catherine Baker in Los Angeles,
CA. He was a 1957 graduate of California High School in Whittier, CA.
On April 9th, 1960 he was united in marriage to his soulmate Cindy. Ken was attending Whittier
College at the time where he attained a bachelor’s degree in education in 1961. After graduating,
Ken accepted a position as a teacher in the Los Nietos School District where he taught and
coached Junior High baseball and basketball for 11 years.
While Ken and Cindy were raising a family together, Ken was going to school for his master’s
degree while working two and sometimes three jobs to support his family. Ken received his
master’s in education from UCLA in 1966.
In 1972, a dream job became available where Ken spent many vacations growing up as a boy
fishing in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Ken accepted the position of Superintendent and
Principal at Round Valley School in Inyo County, CA. So, the family embarked on a wonderful
adventure moving from the big city to the beautiful small town of Bishop, CA that summer. It
was here in Round Valley where Ken’s impact was felt the most. He touched and influenced the
lives of so many children and their families. Ken always referred to the students at Round Valley
as “my kids.” He started a basketball tournament that bears his name today. This year was the
45th annual Ken Baker basketball tournament. This is just a small part of his legacy.
In 1984, Ken was elected to the office of Inyo County Superintendent of schools where he
completed almost 3 terms before retiring in 1997.
In 1999, Ken and Cindy opted for the quiet life in Polo, MO. They found a lovely home with a
lake on 12 acres with an abundance of wildlife in their own backyard.
Ken loved sports. He was a very good athlete, playing basketball and baseball in high school and
college. He played fastpitch softball into his forties, was an excellent bowler, and one heck of a
Ken spent his retirement years participating in fantasy sports leagues, relaxing in his backyard
watching the whitetail deer, and feeding his birds. He was able to enjoy this with his best friend
of 60 years by his side until the end. If you were fortunate enough to know him, you were a
better person for it. We will meet him in heaven one day but until then he will be dearly missed.
Ken is survived by his wife Cindy, son Brett, son Greg and daughter in law Jenny, daughter
Julie, and five grandchildren: Garrett, Tyler, Wyatt, Madison, and Dylan.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Christ Cupboard Food Pantry in care of the funeral home. Memorial services are being planned for a later date in Bishop, CA. Arrangements entrusted to the care and direction of Stith Family Funeral Home in Polo. Online guestbook at www.stithfamilyfunerals.com
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