John T. Baker, Altoona, passed away Tuesday evening, unexpectedly at his home.
He was born in Altoona, son of the late Joseph Geist and Theda (Tracey) Baker.
He is survived by a daughter, Tracey (Baker) Collins and husband Andrew, of Altoona; a grandson, Theodore Collins; a sister, Jeanne Baker; former wife and good friend, Alice Kline; and nieces and nephews and their children: Randy Green, Sharon Green, Rachel (Bovard) Litzinger, Brittany Bovard-Sabnis, Kaitlin Bovard, and Brooke Bovard-Mattiello.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Shirley Green.
John was the President and Owner of McCartney’s Business Products for close to thirty years. Approaching its 130th anniversary, McCartney’s has been owned by the Baker/Tracey family since the early 1920’s. John planned for the company to remain in the family and to continue its tradition of local family ownership. During the time that John was President, the company grew from a local company employing a dozen employees to a regional business employing as many at 75 employees. John’s genuine caring for his employees and his ability to attract the best supplier partners were his two defining traits. Daily he would greet each employee with an anecdotal story that always brought a smile to their face. And John could tell a story like few others.
John was 66 but fitter than most 40 year olds. He was in “training” to teach his grandson, Teddy, how to play baseball, and he didn’t want his grandson to see him as anything less than being the consummate ball player. John was on the Logan-Allegheny Colts Baseball team that won the PA State Championship in 1962.
A quiet and private person, John was an unsung pillar of the community. He was a kind and generous father, friend, and family member. He was open and loving among those that he was close to. He had a quirky sense of humor and loved to tell stories that frequently crossed the line to tall tales. He always had a wealth of trivia and sports statistics. John had a passion for history. He loved to tell others about his glory days and to continue to learn and share about the history of his family, his business, his community, and his country. He lived his life in a quiet, reserved way, but had a passion for sports and fitness. He loved to make friends with the wait staff at the restaurants that he frequented. Compassionate beyond measure, he would always go out of his way to help those that he loved: his family, his friends, and his employees. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Friends will be received from 12:30 until the 3 p.m. funeral service, Tuesday May 3, 2016 at Mauk and Yates Funeral Home, Inc., 719 N 4th Avenue, Altoona with Pastor Jim House officiating. A luncheon will be held at Mardorf United Methodist Church, 3429 Juniata Gap Road, Altoona, 16601 immediately following the service. A private family interment will be held at Alto-Reste Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Mardorf United Methodist Church, 3429 Juniata Gap Road, Altoona, PA 16601 or to the American Cancer Society, 1004 N Juniata Street, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648.