The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

December 8, 2013

90-year-old Oklahoman serves state for decades

FAY, Okla. — Take a look at Snip Baker's 90-year-old hands.

And then think for a minute about how many people those hands have helped.

It will take a lot longer than minute.

They've served Baker's family, his country, his community of Fay and neighbors throughout Dewey County.

Baker's hands remain active helping others, son-in-law Mike Mahoney told The Oklahoman.

"Whether it is helping someone understand oil and gas leases, remembering deceased veterans who served our country, or serving weekly meals to the senior citizens, Snip is there to lend a helping hand," Mahoney said. "He and Penny still attend mineral owners' meetings, join travel groups to Branson, and love to entertain family and guests in their home."

Baker's projects of passion almost always are focused on others.

An example is his project for the Veterans Memorial at the Fay Community Center. He built cases to house the American flags of deceased veterans.

"It was his way of lifting those individuals up, honoring them," daughter Lanee Mahoney said.

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Baker grew up in a family that made its living by farming, sawing lumber, making molasses, grinding grain and custom threshing.

"Being from a large family, Dad learned to work hard and take pride in all he did," daughter Janice Stinson said.

In addition to work, education was important. Baker attended the one-room Bell School through eighth grade and then went to Oakwood High School. He graduated in 1941. Then it was on to a job with the Santa Fe Railroad before attending welding school at Weatherford.

"World War II was upon us, so Dad enlisted in the U.S. Navy in May of 1944," Stinson said.

The previous year, Baker had met Penny Pennington of Reydon. They were married May 11, 1944.

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