Colonie - Ronald Harold Baker, age 79, of Colonie, passed away on September 4, 2020 at Albany Medical Center. Ron had been battling aggressive prostate cancer for many years and succumbed to multiple organ failure secondary to his cancer.
He was born in Glens Falls, New York on August 7th, 1941 and was the son of Alma Trombley Chmielewski and Harold Vernon Baker. Ron graduated from Glens Falls High School and obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education from Plattsburgh State University.
Since 1970 Ron was a resident of Colonie. He was a high school social studies teacher at Shaker High School where he was also a football and wrestling coach.
In 1974 he began the start of a decade’s long dedication to Firefighting and Emergency Medical Service by volunteering for the Colonie Fire Department. He was a pioneer in pre-hospital EMS as he was part of the initial group of paramedics in the Albany area. His love and dedication to the fire service, EMS, and education made him a natural fit to leave teaching and become the EMS coordinator for the City of Troy Fire Department. Ron integrated pre-hospital EMS into the Troy Fire Department which was no easy task as having city Fire Departments provide emergency medical services was a novel idea at the time.
When his hometown of Colonie required a change from volunteer emergency medical services, Ron became the Deputy Director of EMS, a job he held until his retirement. As a former boss put it Ron’s “drive, skill, and enthusiasm built 2 EMS systems in the Capital Region, Troy and Colonie.”
Retirement did not slow him down, it allowed him to expand himself in every facet of life there is. He was a full-time ski patrolman at Windham Mountain, a white-water rafting guide on the Hudson River, a private pilot, and a true renaissance man.
A desire to never fail and always finish what you started lead him back to college in his 70’s. He enrolled as a music major at Schenectady County Community College as the memory of quitting the piano as a teen was something he looked to overcome.
Ron was someone you always wanted by your side when things got tough, and he proved his toughness until his dying day.
Ron is survived by two sons, Jeffrey Baker and his wife Jessica of Chicago, IL and Brian Baker and his wife Andrea of Flower Mound, TX; one brother: Kenneth Baker of Queensbury, NY; two sisters: Bonnie Herbaly of South Glens Falls, NY and Mary Cowles of New Bern, NC; and four grandchildren: Sophie, Luke, Leo, and Tyler.
Funeral services will be Saturday morning at 10:30 at the Village of Colonie, Frank A. Leak Amphitheatre for the Arts, Cook Park, Shambrook Parkway, Colonie. Family and friends may pay their respects on Friday from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at the Amphitheatre at Cook Park. Face masks are required and social distancing must be observed. A celebration of Ron's life will also be held next year on his 80th birthday, August 7, 2021 at a time and location to be announced.
In keeping with Ron’s wishes and in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Ronald H. Baker to Colonie Village Fire Co., Inc. 1631 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12205 or Ronald H. Baker Scholarship Fund. c/o Megan Combs, 1772 Amsterdam Ave. Schenectady, NY 12303, Windham Mountain Ski Patrol, c/o Maggie Brabazon 19 Resort Drive, Windham, NY 12496. To leave a message of condolence for the family visit www.CannonFuneral.com
To send flowers to Ronald's family, please visit our floral store.