Russell Sage Baker, Jr, 94, of Cambridge, MD passed away on Friday, April 16, 2021 at UMSMC – Dorchester. He was born at the Cambridge Maryland Hospital on May 28, 1926, the son of Russell S. Baker and Mary Louise Gore Baker.
Russell attended schools in Cambridge, graduating from Cambridge High School, Class of 1943 and The Peddie School, 1944, in Hightstown, NJ. He then received an appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, NY. From there he went to California for initial training. Then, as an officer, he boarded a merchant ship headed to the South Pacific laden with supplies for the invasion of Okinawa. His ship stayed under fire during the invasion. On the return to the west coast, it was announced that President Roosevelt had died. Upon hearing the news, he lowered the ship’s flag. The war ending, Russell returned to King’s Point, graduated and received his license for any ship, any ocean. As one of the millions of young men and women who were the “greatest generation,” he was only nineteen years old at the time.
He returned to Cambridge after the war and went to work for Dulaney Farms, Dorco Farms and ultimately took over the family farms in Dorchester County and successfully grew the farming business. In February of 1949 he met Ida Jane Robbins and they were married on December 25 of that same year. They made their home on the New Bridge farm near Vienna.
Russell was extremely devoted to Dorchester County and its communities. He worked countless hours for many organizations seeing that their needs were met as well as heading the Salvation Army Board and the Nathan Foundation. He was a director on the local bank board of the Union Trust Company, later Signet, and Provident State Bank. A life long member of Christ Episcopal Church, Great Choptank Parish, he served on the church Vestry. He was a member of the Dorchester County Historical society and a member of the Cambridge Yacht Club for 74 years.
Being an avid waterfowler for many years, Russell was a founding member of the Dorchester County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited and a lifetime sponsor. The sport became more about the social aspect, inviting and entertaining many locals and celebrities over the years. He derived great pleasure in seeing other people enjoy the sport. As time passed, he became more interested in watching and feeding “his ducks”. After moving creek side in Cambridge, he continued to tend and watch over the ducks there, thrilled to see the numbers grow. He also loved going to the farm everyday to feed his many cats!
Russell is survived by his wife, Ida Jane, of 71 years, son Russell S. Baker III and wife Laura, daughter Carol Jane Baker-Jones and husband Marston, grandchildren R. Sage Baker IV, wife Jessica, Ali Elizabeth Baker Gilliam, husband Chris and great grandchildren Wyatt Henry Baker, Natalie Jane Baker and Isaac Baker Gilliam.
Graveside service will be private and internment will be at Christ Church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Christ Church Memorial Fund or the Dorchester County Historical Society. Arrangements are in the care of the Thomas Funeral Home, P.A. in Cambridge.
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