We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home & Crematory
Donald (Don) Earl Baker passed to eternal life on June 2, 2022. He was born February 24, 1933 to Charles Franklin and Mamie (Kyle) Baker in Ellington MO. Early in his life, his father was appointed Game Refuge Manager at Sam A Baker State Park near Patterson, MO. In 1948, Don’s family moved to the Drury Wildlife Conservation Refuge area at Mincy on the White River.
Don attended School of the Ozarks and was drafted into the Army in 1953. He was stationed in Germany until receiving an honorable discharge in 1955 at the rank of Corporal.
Don graduated from college at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in 1961 with a degree in Accounting. During his college years, he was a member of Americas Favorite Square Dancers—LD Keller and the Promenaders. Between 1956-1959, the group regularly appeared on TV with Red Foley and the Ozark Jubilee. Don performed in heralded venues like Madison Square Garden and formed lifelong friendships with several of the dancers.
Don married the love of his life, Betts Carr, on August 2, 1962 at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MO. After working as an auditor for Missouri Farmers Association, he became a State Farm insurance agent in 1963. He opened his Branson office in January 1965, and with Betts joining him as office manager, became one of the top performing agents nationwide. Don embodied the company motto “Like a Good Neighbor”—he loved to help people and did so passionately until his retirement from State Farm in 1998.
Don was an active member of his community. He was a 32nd-degree Mason and was a 63-year member of Branson Masonic Lodge #587 AF&AM. He became Master of Branson Lodge in 1971. He was also a member of the Shiners International for 50 years and Rajah for Taney County Shrine Club in 1975.
In addition, Don served as a member of numerous boards and committees throughout his life. He served as a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Branson, MO. He was a member of the Board of Directors for Security Bank and Trust (later becoming First Community Bank of the Ozarks), Skaggs Hospital and many other organizations. He was particularly proud of his position on the Board of Trustees for College of the Ozarks.
Don is survived by his wife Betts and his children; Doug Baker and his wife Tisha, Branson, MO; Dale Baker, Durham, NC; Donna Schisler, Branson, MO; Bryan Baker, Grand Forks, ND; and Linda Baker, Denver, CO. He is also survived by his brother Bill of Colorado and sisters Doris Wilson of Springfield, MO., Barbara Jenkins and her husband Dorell of Spokane, MO.. Don is further survived by sisters-in-law MaryMae Baker, Pittsburg, PA and Ruth Baker, Forsyth, MO, as well as brothers-in-law E.A. Carr and his wife Janice, Independence, OH and Mike Carr and his wife Cathy, Springfield, MO—along with nine nieces and nephews.
Don leaves behind seven grandchildren; Derrek Baker and his wife Crystal, Springfield, MO; Finley Baker, Springfield, MO; Cassidy Baker, Branson, MO; Isaac Baker, Durham, NC; Sophia Baker, Nashville, TN; and Tilly Schisler and Desiree Schisler, Branson, MO.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife’s parents Eldridge and Margaret Carr, brothers Ed and Jerry and sister Judith Allison.
The family suggests memorials to The Don Baker Nursing Scholarship at College of the Ozarks—P.O. Box 12, Point Lookout, MO 65726—or the First Presbyterian Church at 420 W. Main St. Branson, MO 65616.
Visitation will be 5 – 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 420 W. Main, Branson MO, on Wednesday, June 8. A celebration of his life will be held Thursday, June 9 at 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Branson; graveside services will follow at Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery—1638 E. Hwy 76, Branson, MO—under the care of Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home & Crematory.
The Don Baker Nursing Scholarship at College of the Ozarks
P. O. Box 17, Pt. Lookout MO 65726
First Presbyterian Church of Branson
420 W. Main St., Branson MO 65616