SHAWNEE, KAN.—Ernest Duane Baker, the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association’s (CFI) first hard surface installer, recently passed at his home here. He was 76.
Baker was instrumental in the early years of CFI, helping to establish the Midwest CFI Chapter in Kansas City, Mo. With his wife, Carmen, they contributed untold hours of time in coordinating the chapter events and working with the CFI Convention, noted CFI’s Jane Walker. Carmen later became employed by CFI with their daughter, Judy, who was born with Down’s Syndrome.
“Duane had been ill for many years and it was always hoped that he would be able to attend another CFI Convention, but that was not possible,” said Walker. He had requested no service or memorial.
Baker was born Sept. 29, 1934, in Davis City, Iowa, to Helen Boeger and Orvil Baker.
The family moved to Greybull, Iowa, where Duane attended Greybull High School through his sophomore year. They then moved to Davis City where he graduated from Leon High School.
In 1954, Baker married Retha Elmore in Davis City. They had three daughters and moved to Wyoming, later dissolving the marriage. While living in Cody, Wyo., Baker was a truck driver. He also served in the Cody Volunteer Fire Department.
After moving to Kansas and marrying Carmen Haase in 1964, the couple had two daughters. Baker owned and operated a flooring company in Shawnee. After retiring he and Carmen farmed an acreage they purchased in southern Missouri.
Baker is survived by brother Richard (Loreva) of Coweta, Okla.; sisters Susalea McElhinny of Worland, Okla.; Patty Giles of Powell, Okla.; Mary (Bob) Russell of Basin, Okla.; Darlene Woolhiser of Cassville, Mo., and Orvilla (Dennis) McDaniel of Spring, Texas; daughters Debra (Edward) Ramer of Far West, Utah; Dulinda (Gordon) Rudaitis of Kansas City, Mo.; Bernie Atagi of Independence, Mo.; Judith Baker of Shawnee; Duanette Baker of Oskaloosa, Kan.; 16 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Baker was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather, wife Carmen, and sisters JoAnn, Frances and Sharon.