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Published: Sunday, 1/14/2001

Ex-mayor coached youth baseball

NORTH FAIRFIELD, Ohio - Vaughn R. Baker, a former mayor of North Fairfield who was a longtime member and former president of the North Fairfield board of public affairs, died Thursday in Willard Mercy Hospital, Willard, Ohio. He was 66.

Mr. Baker died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which was diagnosed in July, his son, Buddy Workman, said.

Mr. Baker was North Fairfield's mayor for 10 years, resigning from the office in 1999.

He was a member of North Fairfield's board of public affairs for about 23 years, his son said.

Mr. Baker also was a member of the Huron County fair board from 1986 to 1994.

He retired as a supervisor from automotive tire mold-maker Versitech in Greenwich, Ohio, in 1999.

“He was a worker and he was a leader,” his son noted.

An avid Cleveland Indians fan, Mr. Baker managed Little League and amateur softball teams in North Fairfield for almost 30 years.

“He was one of the best Little League managers in the area. I played for him as a boy. If we learned the fundamentals, we got to play. If not, we didn't. He was always fair about that. But, he was definitely interested in winning.”

He said his father virtually “worshiped the 1954 Cleveland Indians,” and he added: “How ironic, for somebody who loved baseball like he did to succumb to ALS like Lou Gehrig.”

Born in Willard, Mr. Baker spent most of his life in North Fairfield, and was a graduate of North Fairfield High School, where he won athletic letters in baseball and basketball, and served as president of his senior class.

Mr. Baker loved country music and he traveled many times to Nashville to explore a town that he believed was the epicenter of the purest form of the music, his son said.

He also enjoyed camping with his family at camp sites around Ohio.

Surviving are his wife, ImaJean; sons, Rocky and Allen Baker, and Mark, Scott, and Buddy Workman; daughters, Vickie Blanton, Bonnie Eastman, and Bobbie Jean Barnett; brothers, Merlin and Loren Baker; sister, Nadine Lykins; 18 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today in Little Rebecca Old Regular Baptist Church, Plymouth. Arrangements are being handled by the Secor Funeral Home, Willard.

The family requests tributes to the ALS Association.

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