Charles G. 'Chris' Baker Jr., salesman, dies

Baltimore Sun reporter

Charles G. "Chris" Baker Jr., a salesman who earlier had worked for a drug testing company, died June 2 of lung cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care.

The Overlea resident was 60.

Mr. Baker was born in Baltimore, raised in Ednor Gardens near the old Memorial Stadium, and was a graduate of city public schools.

Until he was laid off in 2004, Mr. Baker had worked for 12 years designing drug protocols for Nova Research Co. at the National Institutes of Health in Washington. He also was a committee member of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In recent years, he worked in auto sales for Schaefer & Strohminger Inc., and at the time of his death was in appliance sales for the Sears Outlet Store on Bel Air Road.

"Chris was a simple man. His passions were riding motorcycles, eating spicy foods and experimenting cooking new dishes," said his stepdaughter, Heather Huddleston, a writer who lives in Parkville.

Ms. Huddleston said it wasn't uncommon for Mr. Baker to prepare a gourmet meal for 15 guests.

"He enjoyed entertaining," she said.

Mr. Baker prided himself on his knowledge of trivia, and enjoyed listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and going to the movies. He was an accomplished leatherworker.

He also enjoyed riding his 1987 Harley Davidson Softail and each spring, he and his wife of 14 years, the former Leah Ann Hallis, attended bike week in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Mrs. Baker is a showroom manager for KG Tile LLC.

Mr. Baker also rescued German shepherds.

A celebration of Mr. Baker's life will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 17 at Belmont Park, 8815 Jasper Lane, Carney.

In addition to his wife and stepdaughter, Mr. Baker is survived by a stepson, Matt White of Parkville.

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