James Edward Baker passed from this world Monday, March 18, 2013, at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, after a brief illness. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2013, at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Rosewood Chapel in Big Spring. Interment will follow at Lamesa Memorial Park in Lamesa.
The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2013, at the funeral home.
James was born to Mae Etheline Parker and Charles Edward Baker on Oct. 16, 1941, in Lamesa, Texas. He was raised in Lamesa by his mother and stepfather, Odes Anderson.
On June 11, 1961, James married his childhood sweetheart, Opal Jean Teague. They have two children, Gregory Scott and Roxanna Lynn. James was preceded in death by his mother, Mae; father, Ed; stepfather, Odes; younger brother, Dwayne Anderson and his mother-in-law, Opal Teague Stuteville.
James joined the Army at the age of 17 and proudly served his country for 20 years. He and Jean traveled the world together during Jamesâ€™ military service and settled in Big Spring with their children.
James worked for the Big Spring State Hospital for 16 years and finished his career at Titus Regional Medical Center in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. After his retirement in 2004, James and Jean returned to their home in Big Spring to enjoy the fruits of their retirement.
He was a volunteer for several years at the VA Medical Center. He enjoyed working in his garden and his true joy was time spent with his family, especially his grandson.
James is survived by his wife, Opal Jean of Big Spring; son, Scott of Brownwood; daughter and son-in-law, Roxanna and Shane Thedford of Big Spring; and the pride and joy of his life, his grandson, Edward Connor Thedford.
He is also survived by his brothers, Jimmy Anderson and family of Virginia, Bobby Anderson and family of New Mexico, Robert Anderson and family of Greenwood, Texas, and Harold Anderson and family of Lamesa, Texas; his sisters, Betty Andrews and family of Cedar Hill, Texas, Kathy Gisler and family of Runge, Texas, Diane Putman and family of Lamesa, Texas, Joyce Cook and family of Oâ€™Donnell, Texas, and Joann Malone and family of Grand Prairie, Texas.; his uncle, JD Parker and wife Betty of Mertzon, Texas; cousin, John Parker and wife Ivene of Monahans, Texas; many other Parker cousins; his wifeâ€™s sisters, Joyce and Linda and their families; special family friend, Shirley Parker; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and many family friends.
The family suggests memorials to the Vietnam Memorial Committee of Big Spring, P.O. Box 2854, Big Spring, Texas 79721-2854.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Big Spring. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com