James Brygger Baker
James ("Jim") Brygger Baker was born to James and Eva Baker on October 12, 1924 in Tacoma, Washington. He died peacefully on August 28, 2020, in Lake Oswego, very content with his life.
Jim's early years were spent in Tacoma where he attended grade school and graduated from Stadium High School. He then enrolled at Washington State University but soon left school to join the Navy during WWII. Upon his discharge from service, Jim returned to WSU on an ROTC Scholarship to complete his degree in Speech; he graduated in 1949.
Jim's experiences at WSU laid his foundation of friends and family. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and developed friendships in college that lasted a lifetime. It was at WSU that Jim met his wife, Frances; they had been married for 65 years when Fran passed away in 2014.
After completing college, Jim's reserve unit was called up for active duty in Korea. He held the rank of First Lieutenant, was Company Commander, and was deeply committed to his comrades-in-arms. On March 2, 1952, as a result of heroic actions taken to protect his troops, Jim was awarded the Bronze Star with a V. Having been wounded in action, he was also awarded the Purple Heart.
Jim and Fran settled their family in Portland and Jim began his lifetime career in the real estate business. He was the co-owner of one of Portland's largest residential firms, but eventually shifted his focus to the commercial sector and established his own company. Jim was known for his integrity and his desire to help Realtors as individuals and the industry as a whole. In his work on the national level, Jim was a co-developer of the CCIM curriculum and was a member of the National Association of Realtors faculty, serving many years as an officer in the Association. He was named Realtor of The Year in Washington County, was a past-President of the Oregon Association of Realtors, and was a past-President of the Realtors National Marketing Institute.
Being a WSU alum was a passion for Jim, and he and Fran were proud parents of four WSU graduates. Jim was a Coug through and through. He was quick to volunteer and serve his alma mater, and was recognized in 1990 with WSU's Distinguished Alumni Award for his leadership and participation in volunteer programs at the University. WSU also recognized Jim as a Diamond Donor for his philanthropy and financial support over his lifetime.
Jim Baker was a good man. He was devoted to his family and loved them dearly. He was a patriot. He loved his country and was prepared to make the supreme sacrifice in two wars. Jim was a man of principles, and he didn't waver. He believed in the good in all people and you couldn't ask for a better friend. Up to the day he passed away, Jim continued to be kind and was making new friends. He will be greatly missed.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Frances; his parents, James and Eva; his sister, Eleanor Macy; and his brother, Jack Butcher. Jim is survived by his sons, James C. Baker, Jeff Baker, Mark Baker, and Matt Baker; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and his brother, Bill Baker.
James B. Baker will be buried with full military honors at Willamette National Cemetery in a private family service. Remembrances may be sent to the WSU Foundation, Fran and Jim Baker Scholarship, PO Box 641925, Pullman, WA 99164-1925. To leave online condolences, please visit www.macyandson.com