1930 ~ 2021
Date of Death: June 12, 2021
In profound sadness, the staff of Veasley Funeral Home & Cremations, Inc. want to express our sincere condolences to the Baker family. Chester’s earthly temple is now resting in the care of Rowell-Parish Mortuary. Revelations 21:4 says "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death; nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away." Be assured that in the days ahead you will surely gain strength from the memories of Mr. Chester Arthur Baker.
Derrick Veasley ~ Director
Henry Veasley ~ Director
Pastor E.C. Maltbia ~ Chaplain
Command Sergeant Major, Retired, Chester Arthur Baker was born on March 18, 1930 in Carlisle, Arkansas, to Ed and Elma Crawford Baker.
As a young man, he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, a decision that was at the forefront of his life. He was educated in the public schools of Carlisle. Wanting to serve his country, he enlisted in the United States Army in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 5, 1950 and remained in the Army for over 30 years. He began his career as a Military Policeman serving in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he was later stationed multiple times in Germany and served at Fort Polk and Fort Leonardwood. One of his most important assignments was at Fort Chaffee, where he met his soon-to-be wife, Bettye Clara Johnson. They were married on March 24, 1959 in First Missionary Baptist Church.
Following retirement in December 1980, he moved back to Fort Smith. He worked as a security guard around the city for Burns Security, finally retiring again from Trane as a security guard. It has been said that he knew the name of every employee that came through his security gate.
He was a member of the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as the Layman Ministry President, on the church trustee committee, both for several years until his health would not allow him to do so. He also was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2897 and served as Chaplain, was a member of the American Legion Ellig Stoufer Post #31, Disabled American Veterans Chapter #001, and in 1983 he was appointed to the design and site committee responsible for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial which stands on the State Capitol grounds in Little Rock. Mr. Baker was a member of the Masons with the Widow’s Son Lodge #3, and was one of the founding members of the Roundtable Club of Fort Smith.
Among the awards and recognitions received were the Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf clusters, United Nations Service Medal, The Korean Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam National Campaign Medal, Bronze Star Medical with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Unit Citation.
Mr. Baker departed this life on the afternoon of June 12, 2021. His wife, Bettye Clara, preceded him in death, as did his two brothers John and Ed Willie. Also preceding him in death were his seven sisters, Alma Jean, Rosie, Charlsey, Lillie, Carrie, Mildred and Gladys. He is survived by a daughter, Tiffinee C. Baker of Fort Smith; three military daughters, Yolinda Laurent, Carrie Greene and Deborah Williams; a special friend/son, Kelvin Johnson and family of Fort Smith, and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and co-workers.
Public walk through will be Thursday, June 17, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rowell-Parish Mortuary 611 North 9th Street Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901.
Family visitation will be Thursday, June 17, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church 4503 Young Street Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904.
Celebration of life service will be held Friday, June 18, 2021 at 10 a.m. at First Missionary Baptist Church 3110 Kelly Highway Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904.
Committal service and final resting place will be at the Fort Smith National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas.