Well respected C. Oscar Baker of Mt. Airy passed away peacefully July 23 at Lorien Assisted Living in the town he loved. Oscar celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends on June 24, 2022. He was the youngest of three children born to the late Oscar Lee and Bessie Brashears Baker in Mt. Airy. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Earl Baker and sister Mae Lowman. Oscar was married to the late Edith Baker in 1947. He is survived by three sons, Glenn (Kimberly), of Easton, MD, Jerry (Kathy) of Mt. Airy and Dennis (Stephanie) of Roseville, CA; grandsons, Seth Baker (Felicia), Carson Baker (Rheanne), step granddaughter Courtney Votey (Will); great-grandchildren Gabe, Jazmine, Justin, Thaddeus, Aubrynn, Charlotte; and his beloved cockatiel Rufus. Oscar grew up on numerous farms around Mt. Airy and graduated from Mt. Airy High School in 1939. He was drafted into the Army in March of 1943, took basic training in Fort Lewis, WA and was selected for the Army's ASTP program starting at University of Idaho and later University of Oregon. He was assigned to the 11th Armored Division under Patton's 3rd where he was sent to England, France and then Belgium where he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. On January 2, 1945 he was wounded in action and evacuated to hospitals in Paris, France and Scotland. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
He entered the Federal Fire Service in 1948 at NOL then transitioned to Walter Reed hospital. In 1965 he was chosen as the first Fire Chief at NBS (now NIST) in Gaithersburg. He retired from NBS in 1979 and began work as an Emergency Services Coordinator in Carroll County helping implement 911 and opening the new Fire Training Center in Westminster. Two passions dominated Oscar’s life: fire service and community. He served as President of the PTA, Little League and was the last living charter member of the Mt. Airy American Legion Post 191. He chaired the committee that brought senior housing to Wildwood Park where Edith and he were the first residents.
Beyond his family, the Volunteer Fire Service was Oscar's life and love. The Mt. Airy Volunteer Fire Company (MAVFC) was the touchstone of that dedication of which he joined in 1941. At the time of his passing, he was an 81-year member and a 70-year active member. Serving as President from 1952-1956, he was instrumental in acquiring Carroll County’s first ambulance, the Mt. Airy carnival grounds and activities building. During these years Oscar was an instructor with the University of Maryland Fire Extension Service. Oscar served as President of the Carroll County Volunteer Fireman's Association in 1965 and 1991. He was the President of the Maryland State Fireman's Association in 1978-1979 after being Chairman of the Maryland State Fire Prevention Committee for eight years.
In 2002, MAVFC dedicated their new Fire Station to Oscar and recognized his many accomplishments by sponsoring the Past President C. Oscar Baker Rookie of the Year Award given annually at the MSFA convention in June. This award honors a rookie emergency service provider just beginning his/her career. Oscar always strived to make things better for the volunteers throughout the county and state. Through his leadership roles, he taught and mentored many people.
Oscar’s accomplishments were recognized through his induction into the Mt. Airy Hall of Fame, the Carroll County Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, the Maryland Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, and the Maryland State Fireman’s Association Hall of Fame.
Oscar had an enthusiastic smile and handshake that always made you welcome in his presence. He was curious about who you were, how you were, where you were from, and where you were headed. He simply had a way of making your day better when your paths crossed. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Lorien (ALF) and Gilchrist Hospice care for helping Dad complete his journey. We also can't thank enough the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Mt. Airy Volunteer Fire Company community who have shown Oscar all the love throughout the years!
A public visitation will be held at the Mt. Airy Volunteer Fire Company, 702 N. Main St., on July 28 from 2-5 PM and 6-8 PM with a Firefighter Memorial Service at 7 PM. Funeral services will be held on July 29 at 11:00 AM at the Mt. Airy Volunteer Fire Company. Interment to follow at Pine Grove Cemetery, Mt. Airy.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mt. Airy Volunteer Fire Company or Lorien
Online condolences may be shared with the family on our website at www.molesworthwilliams.com.
All floral offering should be delivered directly to the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Department on Thursday before 5 p.m Mt. Airy (Activities Fund).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of C. Oscar Baker, please visit our floral store.