Robert L. ‘Unkel Bob’ Baker
Robert L. Baker, 92, of Altoona died Saturday, Feb. 11, after a brief illness.
He was born May 24, 1924 in Lock Haven, son of the late Ray and Laura (Moore) Baker.
He married June M. McGill on Feb. 16, 1947. She preceded him in death Sept. 19, 1997.
Surviving are a son, Larry (Debra); two grandsons, Michael (Wendi) and Timothy (Katherine); and four great-grandchildren, Emily, Michael, Andrew and Liliana.
After graduating from Lock Haven High School in 1942, Bob entered military service with the United States Army in 1943.
He served in the 63rd Infantry Division as a mortar platoon forward observer. The “Blood and Fire” worked its way through France and Germany from 1944 through 1945. In April 1945, Bob was with the 63rd when it liberated a concentration camp near Landsberg. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement.
Even before the war, Bob enjoyed working in retail. After returning from Europe, he worked for the J.C. Penney Company in DuBois and the Bon-Ton in York.
In 1956, he co-founded Unkel Joe’s Woodshed in Lock Haven with Joseph E. “Unkel Joe” Anderson. Unkel Bob moved to Altoona in 1958 to open the Unkel Joe’s Woodshed at 520 West Plank Road. After Unkel Joe’s death in 1981, Bob served as the company’s president for nearly two decades.
Bob was also a longtime member of the Altoona R/C Club, teaching many beginner radio-controlled aircraft pilots how to fly.
He also enjoyed watching the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penn State football; listening to big band era music; and using his iPad to keep up on current events. He joined the Garden Heights United Methodist Church in 1958.
Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. today and 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 at The Good Funeral Home, Inc. where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday with Rev. Kevin Locker officiating. Entombment will be made at Alto Reste Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society, 1837 East Pleasant Valley Boulevard, Altoona, Pa. 16602.