SALINA, Kan. Kenneth Kenney Eugene Baker, 77, passed away peacefully on Oct. 28, 2018, at the Salina Regional Health Center.
Ken was born and raised in Atchison. He participated in football, soccer and track; was a Boy Scout; and enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing.
Upon graduating from Atchison High School in 1959, he attended Colorado State University, majoring in Horticulture, focusing on Landscape Design and Nursery Management. He graduated in 1966 with a B.S. in Agriculture. At CSU. Ken was a Sigma Chi Fraternity member, played soccer on a partial scholarship and was involved with the Horticulture Club.
Ken joined the United States Army Reserve and was a Staff Sargent with the Signal Section 1 Unit, Co G (Sig) 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces; he was discharged of duty on Aug. 18, 1970.
After college, Ken worked for various nurseries until settling in Iowa where he started a family. After his family relocated to Salina, Ken opened Ken Baker Landscaping. He was a talented landscape designer.
An Audubon Society and Ducks Unlimited member, Ken had a passion for hunting and fishing. He joked each year that he missed the opening day of pheasant season when Kelly, his daughter, was born. Ken encouraged his grandchildren to become birders during visits to California. Ken also had an eye for antiques, a love he shared with Amy, his youngest daughter. Ken enjoyed his time with friends and family but cherished his time with his grandchildren the most.
Ken was predeceased by: his parents, Henry Hiney and Ruby; and older brother, Leonard.
His younger brother, Art, survives him. Ken leaves behind: his daughters, Kelly (Russ) San Filippo, of Pacific Grove, California, and Amy (Joe) Rheim, of Monterey, California; his grandchildren, Ethan, Aidan, Olivia and Ava.
Ken and his daughters are grateful for the doctors and staff at Salina Regional Health Center (4th and 5th floors) and are especially thankful for the care he received from Dr. Larry Beck, Dr. Peeran Sandhu and their staff at the Tammy Walker Cancer Center.
A private celebration of life will be held in the spring.
Donations in memory of Ken may be sent to Tammy Walker Cancer Center, the Audubon Society or Ducks Unlimited.
Ken will be greatly missed by his daughters, grandchildren, family and friends.
Online condolences: www.ryanmortuary.com As published in the Atchison Globe.