KALISPELL - Darrel William Baker, 57, passed away Friday, May 30, 2008 on his way to work. He was born Dec. 30, 1950, in Wolf Point, the first-born child of Earl and Doretta Baker.
Darrel was raised and educated in Poplar. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman. He returned to Poplar and worked with his father on the family farm and the family electrical business. He enlisted in the National Guard and served from 1972 to 1979.
On April 23, 1973, he married the love of his life, Barbara. They had just recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
Together, they owned and operated the Gamble Store in Poplar from 1974 until the parent company closed its doors. At that time, he picked up a True Value franchise and continued to operate the hardware store and work for his dad until 1988, when he and Barbara sold the business and relocated to Kalispell.
On Sept. 8, 1987, the joy and second love of his life was born. A daughter, Ashley Ann Baker, who from that day forward was the twinkle in her daddy's eyes.
Upon relocating to Kalispell, Darnel continued his education and received a bachelor's degree at Flathead Community College in accounting. At the time of his death, be had worked at LHC Construction for more than 15 years. He took great pleasure in his work and his many friends at LHC. In addition, Darnel loved to travel and he and his family had the opportunity to experience many wonderful times together. He also enjoyed spending time at their cabin on the lake that was built from the ground up by him and his brother-in-law. He always looked forward to whatever else life would bring.
Darrel was preceded in death by his mother, Doretta.
He is survived by his wife Barbara; daughter Ashley; father Earl (stepmom Delores) Baker; sister Karen (Chuck) Dixon, Missoula; niece Krisha (Larry) Ross and grandnieces Jordan, Raymi and Kelsey of Anchorage, Alaska; nephew David (Kristin) Dixon and grand-nephews Brody and Cody of Missoula, on the Baker side. Sisters-in-law Jennifer (Gary) Kelly, California, and their families, Phyllis (Jerry) Goldsmith, Georgia; and brothers-in-law, Larry Morgen of Wibaux, Joe (Sara) Morgen of Kansas and family; and Elizabeth Brungard, mother-in-law, of Wibaux.
Darrel always said, "God decides on the day you are born, and he also decides on the day he will take you away." Although the angels have called him home, he will be greatly missed by his family, co-workers and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 4, at Risen Christ Parish at 65 W. Evergreen in Kalispell. Viewing and visitation will be at Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory at 1890 Highway 93 N. in Kalispell on Tuesday. Doors will open at 1 p.m. with a rosary service to follow at 7 p.m. Burial will be Friday, June 6, in Wibaux.
Condolences for the family may be sent to www.buffalohilfh.com.