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Baker, 75, retired CJHS principal, dies

Baker, 75, retired CJHS principal, dies
Baker, 75, retired CJHS principal, dies
R. William Baker

Former Corydon Junior High School principal R. William Baker, 75, died Wednesday, March 8, 2006, at his home.
‘He was a very serious type of educator, and he knew how to handle the junior high students,’ said Edmund F. Schneider, Corydon, superintendent of the South Harrison school system during Baker’s tenure. ‘He would get them to see the problem, if there was a problem, and would congratulate those who were doing fine.
‘He got along exceedingly well with the children.’
Baker was principal at CJHS about 17 years before he retired in 1991. He previously taught history, math and physical education at the school and coached basketball and track.
Mogwedell Norman of Corydon was Baker’s secretary for some 15 years.
‘I think he had the best interest of the faculty and students at heart,’ she said of Baker. ‘One thing I particularly appreciated was that, after he had meted out punishment, later he would make some contact with them. You would see him walking down the hall with his arm around the child.’
She added: ‘I think that was a really nice trait.’
Baker was a native of Alexandria, born Feb. 22, 1931, to the late Clarence (Dutch) and Bernice Kitterman Baker.
He was a 1949 graduate of Corydon High School, where he was a multi-sport athlete. He attended Indiana Central College on a basketball scholarship. He interrupted his education to join the Army in 1952 and was stationed in Germany. He returned to ICC after serving and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1957. He also held a master’s degree from Butler University. He taught in Indianapolis before moving to Corydon, and was a former salesman for K.H. Brown and Son in Corydon.
Baker was a member of Old Capitol United Methodist Church, Indiana State Teachers Association, National Educators Association, National Association of Secondary School Principals, VFW and American Legion, and a charter member and former president of the Corydon Optimist Club. He was also a long-time member, director and past president of the old Corydon Country Club.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, the former Mary Lou LeForce; a son, Jay Baker of Indianapolis; a daughter, Lou Ann Baker of Indianapolis; and a sister, Mary Catherine Kitterman of Indianapolis.
The funeral was Saturday at Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home in Corydon with burial in Cedar Hill Cemetery. The Revs. Holly Hardsaw and Douglas Finney officiated.
Pallbearers were Steve Timberlake, Douglas R. Robson, Randy Kitterman, Jarrod Bulleit, Ron Simpson and Brett Wilson.
Honorary pallbearers were Richard S. Brown, Jay Gleitz, Charles Douglas Robson, Edmund Schneider, Gordon Pendleton, Estel Parks, Marshall Kitterman, Tom Potts, Gil Fey and Dave Bertram.
The family suggests memorial gifts to the William Baker Scholarship Fund or the Lance Armstrong Foundation.