William James “Bill” Baker, age 68, of Covert passed away on April 10, 2007 at the VA Hospital in Syracuse.  

Born on March 15, 1939 in Ithaca, NY, Bill was a son of Maurice F. and Clara (Frost) Baker. 

Most will remember Bill driving around the “Burg” in one of his antique autos. Most often he would be in his wood sided 1925 Model T depot hack or one of his large collection of King Midgets.  He loved old cars, collected many, and traveled to numerous auto shows in the east and mid-west in his customized Greyhound bus motor home. 

Bill had a variety of careers, his first one working in the old Cayuga Movie Theater, continuing with employment at a local body shop, lumberjacking, heavy equipment operator, running his own sawmill, and a variety of jobs in between.  His last major venture was Baker’s Farm and Road Drainage.  Bill was well noted for the installation of road and field tiles.  He researched and promoted European techniques which have had an impact on area roads as well as increased production of agricultural crops.  Bill never missed an opportunity to educate others on the importance of subsurface drainage.

His knowledge lead him to being elected the State President of L.I.C.A..  He was also a past Master of the local Masonic Temple and served in Korea with the U.S. Army near the DMZ. One of Bill’s greatest joys was hosting the annual get together for the TCS Class of 1957 at his Lower Covert Road family homestead.  “Keeping the group together” was important to him.  It was through Bill’s efforts that the class of ’57 maintained their close ties over the past 50 years. 

Bill is survived by his mother, Clara Frost Baker; two daughters, Lynne Baker-Osserman, Stacey (Ken) Roy; a son, Mark Baker; six grandchildren, Matthew, Gwen, Xavier, Amanda, Brittney and Danielle.  Also surviving Bill are two sisters, Elsie (Don) Oliver and Connie Baker; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Bill’s father, Maurice Forrest Baker and Bill’s former wife, Janice Fisher Stevenson Baker Scanlon preceded him in death.

He also leaves a large network of close friends including Alan Champion and Joel Osserman.  Especially close to Bill were friends Sara and Bill Ryan (Tim, Matt and Mark) of Waterloo who consistently helped him with his difficult daily medical needs over the past few years.   

All will miss Bill leading a parade with one of his classic cars, whether through the streets of a local village or the avenues of Zephyrhills, FL; and all will miss his help in solving the problems of the world over a cup of coffee with the “guys”.  

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to remember Bill in the form of a contribution are kindly asked to consider the Trumansburg Fire Company Ambulance Fund, PO Box 418, Trumansburg, NY 14886, or a charity of one’s choice. 

Bill’s family will be present to receive friends on Tuesday, April 17, from 7-9pm at Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg.  Funeral services will be on Wednesday, April 18, at 1:00pm at The First Baptist Church, Seneca Rd., Trumansburg with Rev. Pete Hood officiating.  Burial, with full military honors, will follow at Grove Cemetery, Trumansburg.  

Page Submitted by: Joseph L. Sibley, Director