Dr. Claude Douglas “Buddy” Baker, son of Claude Austin Baker and Margaret Norman Baker, passed away March 5, 2023; he was born in El Dorado, AR on August 10, 1944.
Dr. Buddy Baker was a 1962 grad from El Dorado High School and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and his PhD in Biology from the University of Louisville.
He was an award-winning teacher, researcher, department chair and biologist at Southern Arkansas University and Indiana University Southeast. Buddy had a deep interest in family genealogies in Columbia County, which led to him culminating his own book titled Samuel Baker, Revolutionary Soldier from Fauquier County, Virginia. He was a lifetime member of the alumni association and was a member of the SAU Board of Governors. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Magnolia, and a member of the Columbia County Republican Committee where he served on the state committee.
Dr. Baker helped establish three Endowed Scholarships – Claude D. Baker-A Call to Service by Steve Moberly at IUS, William and Dorothy Craig music Endowment, Claude and Skeet Baker Endowed Scholarship in Marine Biology at SAU.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Professor William Perry Baker and Paul David Baker. Survivors include his beloved wife, Neva Braswell Baker; sons, David (Susan), Mark (Carla) and Michael Braswell; daughters, Phyllis (Mike) Skinner and Pamela (Rusty) McDonald; 12 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Theresa Baker and Colleen Sloan; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Memorials may be made to the Claude and Skeet Baker Scholarship in Marine Biology at Southern Arkansas University Foundation, Inc., 100 East University, MSC 9174, Magnolia, AR 71753-218 or First Baptist Church Magnolia (Building Fund), PO Box 456, Magnolia, AR 71754.
Visitation will be Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Magnolia with funeral service to follow at 2:00 p.m. with Bro. Dustin Wisely and Bro. Roger Dunlap officiating. The burial will be in the Magnolia Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Lewis Funeral Home, Inc. in Magnolia.