C Duane Baker, age 84 of Springfield, passed away at home Monday, June 21, 2021. Born in Celina, Ohio on November 24, 1936 the son of the late Chalmer and Bernice (Baucher) Baker. Following graduation from Celina High School, Duane attended Ohio University where he was a member of their varsity Baseball team and held many school records. After graduation with his Bachelor’s in Education he went on to serve as a Quartermaster in the United States Navy. After serving his country “Bake” began his teaching career at Wapakoneta High School before moving to Springfield OH. At South High School he both taught in their science department and coached baseball and basketball. Duane was a natural leader who loved his community and they loved him. He was soon the strong choice to lead the “Wildcats” as their Athletic Director. He had a passion for “kids” and that loved shines through the legacy that he has in the community. The lasting mark he made carries on through the individuals he touched, his students, his athletes and their families and his coaches. He had the ability to connect even with strangers. He was great at defusing and encouraging. This characteristic drew many to respect and adore him. Once your life was touched by Bake you knew he would always have your back and that you could always call on him for strong advice or help. His life will be carried on in the hearts and service of those he touched. He retired after 30 years in the Springfield School District; but could still be seen season after season up in the stand cheering on the Wildcats! (It was said his blood was blue and gold.)
He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Patricia (Hutchens) Baker; his daughter who was the light of his life, Suzanne (Baker) Antonaros, his son-in law Richard Antonaros and his granddaughters, Isabella, Avamarie and Vivianna Antonaros.
A gathering for family and friends to celebrate Duane’s life will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2021 with visitation from 10:00 am-12:00pm at JACKSON LYTLE & LEWIS LIFE CELEBRATION CENTER. At noon the eulogy is to be given by his former athletes and coaches. Raymond Lloyd will be first off the bench. Following this service, Duane will be laid to rest at Fernclifff Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the C Duane Baker Scholarship Fund at Huntington Bank. This scholarship will be awarded to a Springfield High School student who will be continuing their education towards a degree in education. Condolences may be expressed to his family by visiting www.jacksonlytle.com