The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


December 2, 2013

James Baker

Sharon Steel retiree was a boxer, church deacon

- — Mr. Baker was born in Farrell on Oct. 6, 1923, the youngest son of Alonzo and Minnie Allen Hooker Baker.

He attended Farrell Area Schools. He worked at Sharon Steel for over 43 years.

While residing in Farrell, he served as a devoted deacon at First Baptist Church in Farrell for over 40 years. He was a vocal soloist at the church and sang solos in many area churches.

James was also a decorated World War II veteran, serving in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. During his military service, he was awarded a World War II Victory Ribbon and the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with five bronze stars. He was honorably discharged from military service on Nov. 6, 1945.

He went on to become a skillful professional boxer and he trained at the former Carver Center on Broadway Avenue in Farrell.

He leaves to mourn his loss: a son, Torrance Baker; and grandson, Joshua Baker, both of Berea, Ohio; grandsons, Andre Irvine, Charlotte, N.C.; and Adrian Irvine, Pasadena, Calif.; nieces, Kathryn Brown Hughes; and Lena Brown, Fayetteville, N.C.;  Shirley Brown McNeal, Detroit; Lenora Bills and Loraine Bannarn, Youngstown; Theodosia Bills, Boardman, Ohio; nephews, Maceo Brown, Atlanta; Samuel Delane, Chicago; sister-in-law, Vivian Baker, Farrell; nieces, Frannie and Marsha Baker, Farrell; daughter-in-law, Gail Hayes and her husband John, Hermitage; family friends, Rudolph and Bobby Hammond, and a host of other family and friends.

Mr. Baker was preceded in death by his wife Juanita Elvira Simmons Baker, whom he married on Jan. 29, 1950; a son, Arthur Irvine; four sisters, Mrs. Alberta Taylor; Mrs. Lena Brown McNeal; Mrs. Daisy Green; Mrs. Julia Dixon; three brothers, Allen, Leonard, and Lincoln Baker; and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Juliann K. Baker.


James, 90, formerly of 923 Parker Ave., Farrell.

Calling hours: 11 to 11:50 a.m. Saturday (12-7-13) in the chapel of Oakwood Cemetery, Hermitage.

Condolences to: WILBERT L. SHANNON FUNERAL HOME Ltd., 33 Broadway Ave., Wheatland, 16161; fax: 724-347-1917; e-mail:

Service: Noon Saturday (12-7-13) in the cemetery chapel with the Rev. T. James Harrison, pastor of Valley Baptist Church, Farrell, officiating. Full military honors by VFW Post 7597, Farrell.

Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Hermitage.

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