James "Jay" Baker Jr.
James "Jay" Leonard
Baker Jr., 71, formerly of Cedar Rapids, died Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, at Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. A Celebration of Life will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids.
Jay was born March 29, 1945, at the old Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg, N.J., and grew up in Washington, N.J. He graduated from Phillipsburg Catholic High School in 1964. Jay was a news/sports correspondent for the Washington, N.J., Star and Easton, Pa., Express. He proudly enlisted and served in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged in January 1969.
Before moving to Iowa, he served as a firefighter with the Union City, Ind., Fire Department for seven years.
He worked as a part-time weekend country DJ "Jay Leonard" at KHAK Radio, and was employed by Rapids Inc.
Jay was a member of Mizpah Lodge 639 A.F. & A.M. and First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids. He also was a member and past president of the Kennedy High School Wrestling Boosters Club and was a wrestling manager's parent and helped as team statistician.
Survivors include his two daughters, Sherry (Scott) Embrey and Deb (Alex) Axline; three grandchildren, Alexis (Robert King) Baker, Taylor Embrey and Hunter Axline; and two great-grandchildren, Ava and Tanner.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Regina (Hains) Baker; and friend and former wife, Carole (Bradford) Baker.
Instead of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.