Eugene Whitman Baker

December 20, 2023

Eugene Whitman Baker, BA ’58, MA ’61, died in Dallas on July 13, 2023, after a long illness. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Baker earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Baylor. He later earned another master’s degree and a doctorate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, where he specialized in church administration.

Commissioned into the U.S. Air Force in 1958, he served on active duty at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, and Tachikawa Air Base in Tokyo, Japan. He also served as the chief information officer for the King Cobra Air Lift, the Fifth Air Force’s build up in Thailand and Vietnam in preparation for the Vietnam War. While on active duty he was the officer in charge of the Hill Top Times, named the top weekly newspaper of the Air Material Command in 1960, and the Kanto Plainsman, selected as the best military newspaper in the U.S. Air Force in 1962. He retired from the military in 1985 at the rank of major.

An ordained minister, Baker served churches in Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Utah and Japan. He was also interim music and education director for several churches in Texas and Tennessee. He was a member of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

He held various public relations roles in Baptist institutions and universities for more than 30 years, retiring from Baylor University in 1995 following service as director of public relations, director of public affairs, executive assistant to the president, chief of staff and university historian.

He loved to travel, and he and his wife, Anita S. Baker, MSEd ’79, retired Baylor University professor, visited all 50 states, all seven continents and more than 55 countries.