(877) 410-2424

24/7 Se habla español

In loving memory of
Lee Baker
  • August 12, 1944
  • -
  • February 14, 2023

  • Obituary
  • Sign Tribute Wall
  • Send an E-Card
  • Light a Candle
  • Send Flowers
  • Photos


Rev. Dr. Lee W. Baker passed away Tuesday, February 14, at the age of 78 peacefully in his home in Ft. Myers, Florida, alongside his family, concluding a valiant 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.  

Lee was born to Dr. Edwin (1910-2006) and Mildred Baker (1911-2011) in Lafayette, Louisiana. He grew up in Lewistown, Illinois, where his father faithfully served the community as a general practitioner. Lee was fond of telling stories about growing up in a small Midwestern town. He insisted his older brother Ed got into more trouble than he did, but Lee’s kids are doubtful. Lee attended three high schools, but was most devoted to his beloved Class of 1962 from Lewistown High School and could never miss a class reunion. 

Lee first attended pharmacy school and then Murray State University (Murray, Kentucky), where he earned a B.A. in psychology, before receiving God’s call to serve in full-time Christian ministry. He went on to earn a B.A. degree in religion from Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University; Bethany, Oklahoma) and a doctorate in ministry from Luther Rice Seminary (Stonecrest, Georgia). Early in his career, he wrote in his resume: “My philosophy of ministry is that as pastor I am to build the Kingdom of God as evangelist and shepherd. My foremost love is in-depth expository preaching.” Indeed, Lee was a lifelong student of God’s Word. He was never without a stack of theology books and his trusted colored markers for underlining, even there beside his hospital bed. How does Lee expend his creative energy? He studies the Word. How does Lee rest and recharge? He studies the Word. And what he learned, he had to share. Preaching Christ’s gospel was his lifelong passion. 

Lee served as lead pastor in the Church of the Nazarene in Marlette (MI), Sterling Heights (MI), Madison (WI), and Palo Alto (CA). He retired from full-time ministry in 1992, and remained very active in the Church of the Nazarene as a Sunday School teacher and “pulpit-filler” up until his passing. Beginning in 1994, Lee enjoyed a second career by serving as an orthopedic sales representative for Biomet, Inc., with a home base in Moline, Illinois. He retired in 2012 and moved to Ft. Myers, Florida. Lee’s spiritual life was also deeply formed by his experiences with international ministries, which took him to Colombia, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, Honduras, and Venezuela.   

Lee met his wife, Debora (Doehring) when serving as youth pastor under Rev. Howard Rickey at Bethel Church of the Nazarene (Detroit, MI). They were married in 1969 and have been inseparable ever since. Perhaps the greatest legacy Lee left his children was modeling an unwavering devotion to their mother. Lee and Debbie raised three children – Peter (b. 1975), Kim (b. 1977), and Christiaan (b. 1978). As a father, Lee spent more time on the sidelines than in the spectator stands, coaching his kids in little league baseball, middle school (boys) and high school (girls) basketball, and youth football. He loved to be part of the action, part of the fun.  

When the kids were growing up, Lee’s primary hobby was sailing on Lake Mendota and Lake Monona in Madison, WI, or on Little Traverse Lake, MI, at the Doehring family cottage. As an empty nester, he quickly turned his attention to road racing. He owned a D Sport Racing car, which admittedly he spent more time fixing with his dear friend, Gene, than racing, but nothing could compare to the thrill of speeding around his favorite track, Road America, in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Humorously infamous for barely mustering a grin in most family photos, it’s impossible to find a photo of Lee at the race track without an ear-to-ear smile. More recently, Lee found beauty in stained glass window making. His original creations quickly became family favorites each Christmas. When Lee wasn’t reading, racing, or soldering, he was with Debbie exploring travel destinations throughout Florida and the southwest (Arizona, Utah, Texas). He loved the adventure of being on the road, finding beauty wherever he went, never comparing one place to another, simply enjoying a place for what it was, sharing it all with Debbie.   

Lee is survived by his loving wife, Debbie; children, Dr. Peter (wife Lisa-Jo and children Jackson, Micah, and Zoe) Baker of Hanover, MD, Dr. Kim Baker of Orlando, FL, and Christiaan (wife Jill and children Ben and Emily) Baker of Brookfield, WI; two brothers: Ed (Janice) Baker and John (Sharyn) Baker, as well as beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

A Celebration of Life and Faith will be held at Anthem Church, 13545 American Colony Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33912 on Saturday February 25 at 1 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Anthem Church: Costa Rica Missions Project.

Send flowers to the family to show you care. Order Now

Tribute Wall

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jim and Jan Schmidt says:
    18 Feb 2023
    Lee was a great man who was dedicated to his family. He will be missed.
    Jim and Jan Schmidt

  2. Tim Weis says:
    16 Feb 2023
    I worked with Lee for several years. He was always kind, honest and a loyal person. Rest in peace Lee.

Send an E-Card

Please select an e-card

Required fields are marked *

Note: The code below resets with every submit of the form