Benjamin Wayne Baker, 51, named after his grandfathers, Benjamin “Murrell” (Smokey) Kratzer and “Harold” Wayne Baker, Benjamin was born in Canton, Georgia, on May 13, 1970. Although Friday the 13th is popularly inauspicious, Ben always called it his lucky day – thus the celebration of life on Friday, May 13th, 2022!
Ben grew up in several places: Waleska and Danielsville, Georgia; Charleston, Illinois; Rome, Italy; and Silver Spring, Maryland, where he graduated from Kennedy High School. He enjoyed sports, academic club, and the Glenmont UMC youth group, and became an avid and lifelong fan of the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capitals, and the Washington football team.
While attending New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology for two years, Ben joined the New Mexico Army National Guard and served for 10 years. He spent 15 more years in food services in both New Mexico and Arizona. For health reasons, Ben moved to Red Wing, Minnesota, in 2008, and three years later established residency in Rochester. He could often be found watching sports at Wild Bill’s, following MedCity roller derby, listening to Miss Myra and the Moonshiners and frequenting the public library. Ben worked in Rochester for Masterson Staffing, Kelly Services, and since 2019, Graybar Electric.
Besides sports, Ben thrived on friendly competition and was always eager to join a game of cards or trivia. He played bridge with Red Wing, Lake City and Rochester Duplicate Bridge groups.
Ben died at home of natural causes. He is survived by his parents, Fred and Jane (Kratzer) Baker of Red Wing; sister, Julie Baker of Minneapolis; nephew Gibson Moxley of Atlanta, Georgia; and beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be maid to the Rochester Public Library Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, or the Glenmont UMC Youth Ministry in Silver Spring, MD. Ben’s family remembers him with love and requests that you do a random act of kindness to celebrate his life.
A celebration of Ben’s life will be held at 2 p.m., on May 13, 2022 at First United Methodist Church in Red Wing. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. A live stream of the service can be found on the church’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FirstUMCRedWing/ Burial will be at a later date. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com
The family requests for those in attendance to wear masks.