Charles Frederick 'Joe' Baker

Charles Frederick 'Joe'  Baker

Charles Frederick “Joe” Baker died Jan. 5, in Livermore. He was 77.

Baker was born at Fort Hayes Army Base in Columbus, Ohio on April 13, 1939. As the son of a military father, his childhood was spent traveling and moving throughout the U.S and abroad where he spent a year in Germany and learned to speak the language. He graduated from Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Georgia Tech in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

With degree in hand and wife Pat at his side, they loaded up a VW bug and a U-haul trailer that outsized the car and headed to San Francisco. There, Baker began work for the California Highway Department and daughter, Jane was born. In 1966, Baker joined the California Bridge Department where he oversaw bridge design and construction throughout the state. During this time, he became a registered civil engineer and he and his wife welcomed their second daughter, Patty, while living in Monterey. In 1970, the family moved to Livermore, where daughter Carol was born, and Baker joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/University of California where he worked until retirement in 1999. He was proud of the revitalization of Site 300 as well as his work for the Contained Firing Facility. Baker also was self-employed as an expert witness and consulting engineer.

Throughout his life, Baker loved to travel: family trips to Lake Shasta for house boating, backpacking in the Sierras with the girls and road trips to Alabama to visit family during summer breaks. He loved nothing more than planning and researching his adventures with Pat to many countries in Asia, most of Europe, along with Australia and New Zealand. He never missed an opportunity to visit a historical site -- he was the type of traveler to read every single word on every single plaque.

Baker also was an avid athlete, participating in college basketball, football and wrestling. He coached the undefeated Green Roses soccer team and when he wasn’t playing something himself, he loved watching his girls swim, play basketball, volleyball and soccer.

Baker was a big man with a big personality and a laugh to match. He lived life on his own terms. He was an extraordinary man and a steadfast friend, husband and father. He will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Pat, their children Jane, Patty and Carol and son-in-law, Robert, and four grandchildren, Abby, Spencer, Amanda (Jane) and Sutton (Carol).

A memorial service and celebration will be held Saturday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore. Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Baker by donating to one of the following charities:

Hope Hospice: The team at Hope Hospice provided immeasurable care, support and comfort to Baker as well as the whole family. (925) 829-8770

Alzheimer's Foundation of America: Providing education, support and research to find a cure for Alzheimer's.