John Michael Baker, “Mike” of Bethel Heights, Arkansas, passed away on Feb. 6, 2022.
Mike was born on Nov. 29, 1947, in Watervliet, MI. He is the son of John H. Baker and Joyce Lindsey (Baker) Mensinger. Mike graduated from Watervliet High School in 1965.
After graduation he served in the U.S. Army and spent time in Vietnam as a tank vehicle mechanic &operator from 1968-1969. When he returned from his service, he went on to attend Lake Michigan College to study auto mechanics.
In 1978 Mike married the love of his life, Linda Wurster, and in 1982 they moved to Northwest Arkansas. As most of you know Mike had a passion for cars – whether it was racing them, fixing them, or talking about them, he loved cars. In 2001 Mike and Linda purchased Thunder Valley Speedway in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They held onto the track for five years hosting weekend races, while Linda ran the concessions. There was an abundance of memories made at that track which resulted in lifelong friendships for Mike. He reminisced about those times often and cherished those weekends at the track.
When his racing days were over, Mike spent most of his days at the golf course. As a member at Lost Springs golf course in Rogers for the past 15-plus years, Mike made his mark on the community there as well. He played daily with a group of friends that became family to him and these friendships carried him through the latter part of his life. Mike also had a remarkable nine holes in one in his lifetime.
Mike was preceded in death by his father John as well as his mother Joyce and her husband Les.
Mike is survived by his wife of 43 years, Linda Baker, his sister, Baker Gendron and her husband Andre of Arizona; and his brother Ron Baker and his wife Debbie of Michigan. He had two sons, Jack Tidey married to Lisa Tidey with grandsons Jet & Liam of Avoca, AR and John Baker married to Suzanne Baker with grandchildren Olivia, Beau & Luke of Rogers, AR.
A celebration of life service will be held on March 12, 2022 at 3 p.m. at Westfield Chapel located at 3236 West Huntsville Street in Springdale, Arkansas.
In lieu of flowers, his family is asking for donations to be made in his honor to First Tee of Northwest Arkansas (https://firstteenorthwestarkansas.org).
First Tee is an organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs which build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. This is a cause Mike would be honored to be a part of.