March 15, 2007

(3/6/1917 - 3/9/2007)

Hillis E. Baker of rural Memphis died March 9, 2007 at the Scotland County Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Baker, the son of Winnie E. Baker and Verna (Thompson) Baker was born on March 6, 1917 on his parents’ farm north of Memphis. He attended Memphis Schools and joined his father in farming. Hillis operated a livestock and grain farm north of Memphis all of his life. His roots grow deep in Scotland County. He owned, at the time of his death, the farm that was purchased by his grandfather in the 1890’s.

Hillis married Geraldine (Jerri) Blaine on October 5, 1940. He and Jerri are the parents of two children Judy Prada and Ron Baker.

Other than for a period of time in the Army during World War II, Mr. Baker lived his entire life in Scotland County. He was an active member of First Christian Church in Memphis all of his life and was for many years a deacon and trustee. He was also involved in many community organizations including two terms as a member of the Board of Scotland County Memorial Hospital, 40 years as the Secretary of the Scotland County Rural Fire Association and many years as a member of the Scotland County Fair Board.

Mr. Baker is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jerri, his daughter Judy and son-in-law John Prada of Kansas City, Missouri and his son, Ron, of Champaign, Illinois. His other survivors include, a cousin, Roy Lee Smith and family of Memphis, sisters-in-law Evelyn Benner of Lee’s Summit, Missouri and Margie DeRosear of Baring, three nieces and one nephew. He considered as family Howard and Nova Merchant of Lanett, Alabama. Their daughters, Janet Merchant, Lora Joseph and children Jonathan, Jeremy and Jamey, Paula Merchant of Auburn, Alabama and Tamara Merchant of Atlanta, Georgia, were his grandchildren and he will always be “Daddy Hillis” to them. Other adopted children and grandchildren are Curtis Ebeling, Greg, Kathy and Andy Cowell of Memphis.

Services for Mr. Baker were held at Memphis Funeral Home on March 12, 2007 with burial following at Memphis Cemetery.

The family requests that memorials be sent to the Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch, 601 North Center Street, P.O. Box 606, Shelbina, Mo. 63468-0606.

Online condolences may be sent to Hillis’ family at

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