C. Oscar Baker
- Army

Well-respected C. Oscar Baker, of Mount Airy, passed away peacefully Saturday, July 23 at Lorien Assisted Living in the town he loved. Oscar celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends on June 24, 2022. He was the youngest of three children born to the late Oscar Lee and Bessie Brashears Baker in Mount Airy. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Earl Baker; and sister, Mae Lowman. Oscar was married to the late Edith Baker in 1947. He is survived by three sons, Glenn (Kimberly), of Easton, Maryland, Jerry (Kathy), of Mount Airy, and Dennis (Stephanie), of Roseville, California; grandsons, Seth Baker (Felicia) and Carson Baker (Rheanne); step-granddaughter, Courtney Votey (Will); great-grandchildren, Gabe, Jazmine, Justin, Thaddeus, Aubrynn and Charlotte; and his beloved cockatiel, Rufus. Oscar grew up on numerous farms around Mount Airy and graduated from Mount Airy High School in 1939. He was drafted into the Army in March of 1943, took basic training in Fort Lewis, Washington, and was selected for the Army’s ASTP program, starting at University of Idaho and continuing at the University of Oregon. He was assigned to the 11th Armored Division under Patton’s Third Army, and he was sent to England, France and then Belgium, where he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. On Jan. 2, 1945, he was wounded in action and evacuated to hospitals in Paris, France and Scotland. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

He entered the Federal Fire Service in 1948 at NOL, then transitioned to Walter Reed Hospital. In 1965, he was chosen as the first fire chief at NBS (now NIST) in Gaithersburg. He retired from NBS in 1979 and began work as an emergency services coordinator in Carroll County, helping implement 911 and opening the new fire training center in Westminster. Two passions dominated Oscar’s life: fire service and community. He served as president of the PTA and Little League, and was the last living charter member of Mount Airy American Legion Post 191. He chaired the committee that brought senior housing to Wildwood Park, where he and Edith were the first residents.

Beyond his family, the Volunteer Fire Service was Oscar’s life and love. The Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company (MAVFC) was the touchstone of that dedication of which he joined in 1941. At the time of his passing, he was an 81-year member and a 70-year active member. Serving as president from 1952-1956, he was instrumental in acquiring Carroll County’s first ambulance, the Mount Airy carnival grounds and the activities building. During these years, Oscar was an instructor with the University of Maryland Fire Extension Service. Oscar served as president of the Carroll County Volunteer Fireman’s Association in 1965 and 1991. He was president of the Maryland State Fireman’s Association in 1978-1979 after being chairman of the Maryland State Fire Prevention Committee for eight years.

In 2002, MAVFC dedicated its new fire station to Oscar and recognized his many accomplishments by sponsoring the Past President C. Oscar Baker Rookie of the Year Award given annually at the MSFA convention in June. This award honors a rookie emergency service provider just beginning his/her career. Oscar always strived to make things better for the volunteers throughout the county and state. Through his leadership roles, he taught and mentored many people.

Oscar’s accomplishments were recognized through his induction into the Mount Airy Hall of Fame, the Carroll County Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, the Maryland Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, and the Maryland State Fireman’s Association Hall of Fame.

Oscar had an enthusiastic smile and handshake that always made you welcome in his presence. He was curious about who you were, how you were, where you were from, and where you were headed. He simply had a way of making your day better when your paths crossed. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Lorien (ALF) and Gilchrist Hospice care for helping Dad complete his journey. We also can’t thank enough the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company community — people who have shown Oscar all the love throughout the years!

A public visitation will be held at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company, 702 N. Main St., from 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 28, with a firefighter memorial service at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 29 at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company. Interment will follow at Pine Grove Cemetery, Mount Airy.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company or Lorien Assisted Living.

Online condolences may be shared with the family on our website at molesworthwilliams.com.

All floral offerings should be delivered directly to the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Department on Thursday before 5 p.m.