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I am a Veteran.Hume Leslie Baker

September 28, 1922 - November 25, 2018

Hume Leslie Baker, 96, passed away peacefully in his daughter's arms on Sunday, November 25, 2018 at the Columbus Oaks Healthcare Center in Columbus where he had resided for nine (9) months.

Hume was born at the home of his grandparents, Jacob Carl and Rebecca Baker on Milam Street in Columbus, TX on September 28, 1922. His parents, Oscar and Mamie (Townsend) Baker were staying with her parents, Mose and Amelia Townsend, descendants of Asa Townsend, in Rock Island, TX until his dad started his next job in Clemville, TX. This is where Hume started school before moving back to Rock Island and graduating in 1941.

Before graduating, one of Hume's teachers encouraged him to go to the government sponsored National Youth Administration at Inks Lake, TX to learn a trade in woodworking. He liked to whittle and was good at it. After hitchhiking to Inks Lake he found the woodwork class was full and was assigned to an Auto Mechanics class. His heart wasn't into auto mechanics and he said he didn't learn a thing. While there his next to oldest brother, Orville, died serving in the U. S. Navy. Hume hitchhiked back to Rock Island for the funeral but it took nearly three weeks before his brother's body finally arrived. When Hume returned to Inks Lake he found that he had been replaced in the class. Hume returned to Rock Island and went to work for his uncle building air base runways in Victoria, TX. While working for Cage Brother & H. E. Williams Construction Co. Hume received his, "Greetings, you have been selected by your friends and neighbors", draft notice for World War II. During this time he had been courting Nelda Lois Speck whom he would later marry on August 27, 1942.

Hume was inducted into the U. S. Army on December 21, 1942, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX, afterwards being shipped to Fort Knox, KY for boot camp and special training in armored vehicles. After boot camp he was shipped to Indian Town Gap, PA where he was assigned to the First Army, VII Corps, Third Armored Division, Thirty-Second Armored Regiment, (headquarters company of the Third Battalion) Assault Platoon known as "Spearhead". A few weeks later his division was shipped to New York to board a ship for England. His assignment was the driver of a Sherman tank where he was involved in many battles including the Battle of the Bulge. After the war was over, Hume was discharged at Fort Sam Houston on December 1, 1945. He was decorated with a Victory Ribbon, EAME Campaign Medal with Five (5) Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, Meritorious Unit Award, a Special Presidential Citation and 4 Overseas Service Bars.

After serving his country, Hume returned to Rock Island and went to work for Austin Construction Co., in Freeport, TX. He was hired as a painter's helper but work wasn't steady due to so much rain. During this time the couple's first son, Marvin Doyle, was born on September 17, 1946. Hume, Nelda and baby Marvin returned to Rock Island where Hume was hired by Shell Oil Company in Sheridan, TX. He started out in maintenance but was promoted very rapidly to maintenance repairman, then shortly after to maintenance foreman.

On July 23, 1947 their second son Roy Orville was born. The Baker family just wasn't complete without a little girl in their lives and Wanda Joyce arrived on February 24, 1951.

In September 1961, Hume was transferred from the Shell plant in Sheridan to Bryans Mill Plant near Atlanta, TX where he the construction inspector of the new gas plant After the construction was completed he was assigned as the maintenance foreman of that plant. It was during this time that Hume invented a "jig" of sorts, to test compressor valves, but could not patent his invention due to Shell policy but an article was published in the Oil & Gas Journal about the "jig". During his tenure in Atlanta he spent time at the main Shell offices in New Orleans, LA to help write a manual on preventive maintenance for offshore oil drilling platforms. He ended up writing the manual for maintenance on heavy rotating equipment, which was published for Shell Oil Company.

In 1973, Hume was transferred to Person Plant near Karnes City, TX. In 1976 he went to New Orleans again to work with engineers to writing specifications, going over blue prints, etc. for a new gas treatment plant to be built at Pawnee, TX. He retired on April 1, 1984 after working for Shell Oil Company for 37 years and only missing one (1) day of work. That same year, Hume and Nelda bought 10 acres just south of Sheridan and built their retirement home.

Hume had always been busy in his shop building and tinkering with mechanical stuff all his life. While living at the Shell "Camp" in Sheridan, he built a roadster out of an airplane gas tank. He would drive it in parades. The roadster was always a hit everywhere he took it. Of course after retirement he had to stay busy tinkering so he developed a hobby of restoring antique farm engines with most of them mounted on "Baker" trucks. At one time he had over fifty (50) and all of them ran like new. He belonged to a couple of antique gas engine clubs and would show his engines around the country. He was always on the search for the RARE one.

Hume is survived by his children, Roy Orville Baker and wife Maxine of Anchorage, AK and Victoria, TX; Wanda Baker Webb and husband Keith of Columbus, TX; grandchildren Lori Cosby, Brian (Rebecca) Baker, Micah (Tracy) Webb and Mandi (Jeff) Scott; great grandchildren Kyela and Kiera Cosby, Emma and Tripp Baker, Seth and Leah Webb, Jonah and Kate Scott.

Hume was preceded in death by his loving wife, Nelda Speck Baker (2009), his parents; two brother's Lewis Franklin and Orville Lee Baker; one sister Annie Ray Hunt; a son Marvin Doyle Baker (2014).

Funeral services will be at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus, TX on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm. Interment will be at Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island, TX. Visitation will be at Henneke Funeral Home on Sunday, December 2, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

Pallbearers are Brian Baker, Micah Webb, Jeff Scott, Shannon Owers, Brad Owers, and Jeremy Brandt.

Honorary Pallbearers are Mark Hermes, Seth Webb, Jonah Scott, and Tripp Baker.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Myrtle Cemetery Association, P. O. Box 143, Rock Island, TX 77475.


Hume Leslie Baker
September 28, 1922 - November 25, 2018



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