Ann Arbor 

Claude Henry Baker was born on July 19, 1940, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the youngest son of twelve children born to Charles Henry and Ruby A. Baker. Claude entered into Eternity on Saturday, October 22, 2022, in his hometown Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan Hospital after a brief illness. 

Claude attended Ann Arbor Public Schools, graduating from Ann Arbor High School in 1958, and attended Hillsdale College for a short time. He was united in marriage to Eloise S. Murphy on March 7, 1960, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. To this union four children were born: Kimberly Ann, Mark Henry, Sherman Todd, and Tonya Yvette. 

Claude was an Ann Arborite for his entire life, seldom traveling outside of Michigan except to visit his son in Chicago. Claude lived in the Fourth Ave. family home caring for his mother until her passing and sharing the home with Eloise and three of their grandchildren for many years until his death.

Claude was an avid reader, often finishing off a book in one day, enjoying novels by everyone from Stephen King to John le Carré. A lifelong Lions fan, he was supportive through the 1953 and 1957 championship days and the 0–16 season in 2008 watching every game he could.

Claude’s culinary skills were exceptional. His specialties of blonde brownies, chocolate chip cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet treats were loved by all who had the opportunity to taste them. He especially enjoyed barbecuing; his grill was always on in the summer, from simple brats to slabs of ribs for his game-day group. Claude also enjoyed searching on the computer and listening to music from past years and movies.

Claude in his younger days coached many young men in the neighborhood as well as a basketball team consisting of some of the “older guys” that he grew up with for a few years. Claude began his working life with the Ann Arbor Foundry co-founded by his father until it closed. He then worked for the City of Ann Arbor Street Maintenance Department until he retired after 25 years. 

Claude was beloved by a multitude of nieces and nephews. For many years, during the college football season, he would host a barbecue during the Michigan and Ohio State game with some of his older nephews. 

Claude was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Ruby; his daughter Tonya; his siblings, Sherman, Carl, Marvin, James, Leroy, Charles, Winona, Shirley, Elizabeth, and Mercedes. Those left to cherish his memories are his children: Kimberly Baker Crouch of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Mark Baker of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Sherman (Vanessa) Baker of Chicago, Illinois; his sister Margaret Haywood of Ann Arbor; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. Claude adored all of his grandchildren, especially Brianna, the youngest, whom he helped raise from an infant. 

Acknowledgment: The family would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to every person who has offered their support. A phone call, a flower, a card, a prayer, silence, a listening ear, a hug, or a shared tear, whatever it was, and however it was done, we want you to know that your deed is appreciated and did not go unnoticed. We love you all.