Steven Lee Baker
Jan. 5, 1947 – Dec. 29, 2021
A man of strength, wisdom, integrity, compassion, and faith, Steven Lee Baker, DVM, passed away at home on December 29, 2021.
He was born to Ronald Hiram Baker and Betty Lee Taylor Baker on January 5, 1947. He grew up in Ceres, attending Caswell Elementary School, Walter White Junior High and graduating from Ceres High School. After completing his Bachelor’s degree, he served in the U.S. Army and earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He was a leader in the military and he gave thought to making it his career but love for family called him back home to his roots. So, he returned to Ceres and completed all requirements for application to enter Veterinary School at the University of California, Davis. He was admitted on his first application and graduated with Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1977. He then completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Georgia in Athens. “Doc Dawg” as he was affectionately known continued to be a faithful Georgia Bulldog.
Before entering Veterinary School he met and married his one true love, Leslie Anne Woodruff. They made their first home in Modesto before moving to Davis. Steve and Les had two children, James and Amanda. His heart and family were forever broken as Leslie passed away in November 1988. Steve opened his veterinary practice at the Coffee Road Veterinary Clinic where he practiced the rest of his life, never considering retiring, doing what he loved until the end of his days. During these years, Steve loved the animals he treated, the clients who became lifelong friends and those with whom he worked – they were “his girls.” He was a gentle giant and shed tears with those who had to make the decision to let their companion go.
Steve’s hobbies and interests were many. He loved hunting and fishing, and took his fair share of ducks, elk, deer, salmon, bass and trout. He was devoted to his ethics and taught his children and his nephews gun safety and “what you take-you eat!” Too many friends to count with whom he hunted, fished, played golf, and socialized. Each one played a special part in his life and he will not be forgotten. He made each activity unforgettable. He belonged to Coast Cattle Gun Club and Newman Gun Club. The Newman membership and cabin had been handed down through the family from his grandfather, Arch Taylor. Steve was a member of the Old Fisherman’s Club, Ducks Unlimited and Del Rio Country Club. He was a faithful Rotarian and past president of the Gateway Club. He also served on the board of Memorial Hospital. He excelled in shooting trap and almost never failed to kill a clay pigeon. It was his joy to share his hobby with family and friends. Steve loved nature, outdoors, all creatures great and small, sunsets and sunrises.
Steve was preceded in death by his wife Leslie, his father Ron Baker, and his brother Gordon Baker. He is survived by his children, James Taylor Baker (wife, Kristin Baker) and Amanda Lynne Young; his mother, Betty Lee Baker; his sister, Lynne Wright Wilkinson (husband, Chris Wilkinson); and his brother, Stan Baker. He is survived by five grandchildren, Mako, David, and Caleb Baker and Brayden and Leslie Young. He is also survived by his nephews and nieces, Joey Wright and
children Emma, William, and Wyatt, Jason Wright and children, Austin, Haylee, and Rylee and Joshua Wright (wife, Missy) and child Joshua, Jr.
Surviving also are his own furry companions: Poco, Pocket and Tommy Cat.
Dr. Baker will be deeply missed by so many dear friends, co-workers, clients, and his loving family. He was a presence wherever he was and a shining example of a good man.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Big Valley Grace Church Worship Center, 4040 Tully Road, Modesto at 12 noon on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name may be made to the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
–Ceres (Calif.) Courier
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2021