Christopher Graham Baker August 8, 1949 – December 1, 2020
Long time Austin resident Christopher Graham Baker, 71, passed away Tuesday, December 1, at Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital, following a three-year battle with multiple myeloma. He is survived by his wife Maralinda Baker, daughter Lauren Baker, son Brett Baker, and sisters Gail Acree and Lisa Bolton; mother and father-in-law Bill and Carole Wise; brothers-in-law Michael Bolton, Steven Wise, Jeffery Wise, Matthew Wise, Paul Wise, David Davala; his sisters-in-law Sandra Wise, Kimberly Wise, Andrea Wise; his nephews, Cliff Wise, Zach Wise, Austin Goodwin, Samuel Wise, Benjamin Wise; his nieces, Meredith Meisetschlaeger, Maddi Bolton, Erin Lewis and her husband Kyle Lewis, Brianna Bolton, Julia Wise, Kristina Wise. He was preceded in death by his parents Ed and Patty Goodwin.
Chris was born August 4, 1949 in Panama City, Panama, and moved to Austin with his family at age four where he lived the rest of his life. He attended Austin public schools, graduating from Travis High School in 1968.
Chris joined the U.S. Navy in 1970, serving as a radio operator and Russian language specialist at the Naval Air Facility in Adak, Alaska. Returning to his beloved hometown in 1974, he studied arts and science and Russian at the University of Texas. In 1978, Chris founded and led Lone Star Productions/Lone Star Frisbee, Inc., a first of its kind non-profit that conducted numerous local, state, and world Frisbee competitions. Chris went on to a 30-year career in commercial lawn care sales and marketing.
A quintessential Austinite, Chris embodied the so called ‘old Austin’ with a deep love for and encyclopedic knowledge of the local music scene. He met his wife Maralinda while tossing Frisbee with friends at a free concert at Auditorium Shores. They married in 1987. Chris’s other top passion was wakeboarding. He spent countless hours navigating Lake Travis and the Pedernales River with a group of friends, unofficially known as the Pedernales Boyz Club. Picture this: a 70-year-old late stage cancer sufferer upright and effortlessly gliding back and forth across the wake behind his 20-foot Sea Ray.
A big-hearted man with an even bigger personality, Chris will be remembered for his ‘chef of the house’ cooking skills, his admittedly corny (and sometimes inappropriate) sense of humor, and relentless vigor and vitality. His ashes will be scattered in many places he loved including Lake Travis, the Texas Hill Country, and the Hike and Bike Trail around town lake.
The Baker family is deeply grateful to family, friends and neighbors for the outpouring of support and assistance during Chris’ lengthy illness. A special thanks also goes to Chris’s Oncologist, Dr. Jeff Yorio, M.D. for 3 and a half years of managing his cancer treatments and care. Contributions in Chris’ memory to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation are encouraged.
A small family Celebration of Life is scheduled later this month to share stories and honor the amazing life he lived.
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