Thomas Preston Baker, HB 118, passed away, at the age of 72, on Friday, August 17, 2018, in a boating accident on the Pamlico River in Bath, North Carolina. His beloved wife, Sarah "Susie" Jackson Baker, age 70, also died in the accident. The couple was inseparable during their more than 50-year love affair, and their family takes comfort that they were together at the end. Tom was born on April 7, 1946, in Richmond, Virginia, to Samuel Harvey Baker and Virginia Timberlake. He attended Douglas S. Freeman High School in Henrico County and earned a degree in accounting in 1968 from East Carolina University, where he was the treasurer of the Eta Beta (HB) Chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity. He met his future wife during a fraternity party and the two married during his senior year on November 23, 1967. The couple honeymooned at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, and they returned there last year to celebrate their 50th anniversary. After graduation, Tom served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve and worked as a CPA for Ernst and Whinney in Richmond. He then moved on to the banking industry, where he worked for the rest of his career, serving as the CEO of Investors Savings Bank, CEO of Guaranty Savings Bank and chief credit officer at Sona Bank. He was blessed with a big personality and an inexhaustible sense of humor that he shared freely with everyone he met. He reveled in the company of people of all sorts and effortlessly held court with crowds of all sizes. He made new friends wherever he went, keeping them on their toes with his dry wit and good-natured ribbing. During the ups and downs of life, Tom's humor carried and sustained his family through both good times and bad. A dedicated family man, he could often be spotted driving a carload of kids to practices and events around Richmond. A busy work schedule never stopped him from attending his children's school and athletic events. He was a lifelong member of the Country Club of Virginia and had a contentious relationship with the game of golf. Tom rarely, if ever, raised his voice to anyone. He loved his dogs and family vacations to Nags Head and Salter Path in North Carolina. But most of all, he loved his wife Susie. The two did everything together and he took great delight in entertaining her and their many friends. Baker was a lifelong fan of University of Virginia sports and frequently drove from Richmond with his family to attend UVA football games before moving to Charlottesville in 1991. In particular, he was a passionate fan of UVA baseball and cherished the opportunity to watch the Cavaliers win the 2015 College World Series in person. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Virginia; his stepmother, Marjorie Pemberton Baker; and his stepsister, Marjorie Ann MacDonald. He is survived by his son, Preston Baker, his daughter-in-law, Michelle Baker, and grandchildren, Thomas and Sophie Baker, of Atlanta; his daughter, Mollie Krebs, his son-in-law, William Krebs, and grandchildren, Sarah Frances and Ballard Krebs, of Charlottesville; his brother, Sam Baker and sister-in-law, Barbara Baker, of Williamsburg; stepsister, Sydney Pemberton Altman and husband, Rainer Altman; stepbrother, Marion Martin Pemberton; nephews, Sam and Bryan Baker, of Virginia; and nieces, Janie White and Susan Gargis, of North Carolina. A memorial service will be held Monday, August 27, 2018, at 2 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick, Va., with a reception following from 3 until 5 p.m. at The Clifton Inn. A family-only graveside service will be held the following day in Richmond. In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to University of Virginia Children's Hospital in memory of Tom and Susie Baker, P.O. Box 800773, Charlottesville, VA 22908, or childrens.uvahealth.com, or 434-924-8432. Condolences may be made to the family at www.hillandwood.com.
The Eta Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu has returned to the campus of East Carolina University. The Snakes are back!