September 4, 1947 – October 12, 2023
Michael Earl Baker, born on Sept. 4, 1947, to William and Irene Baker of Vashon Island, a beloved husband, father, Grandfather, great-grandfather and advocate for family and community, passed away peacefully in his home on Orcas Island on October 12, 2023. Finding his final peace in the same room where he once witnessed the raw beauty of his youngest child’s birth and where he played with and guided countless generations. He left behind a legacy as vibrant and untamed as the wilderness surrounding his century-old Orcas Island home.
Survived by his wife, Rocky; his partner in chaos and love, his daughters Michelle Jurgensen, Rose Baker, and Heather Sims, and his son Devin Baker. Michael’s clan extended beyond biology to include his proxy children: Kim Thomas, Colin Brown, and Jen Finkenhofer. His guiding spirit dances among his beloved grandchildren: Pasha Jurgensen, Xzylo Baker, Adam Thomas, Paige Holland, Halley Thomas, Clover Dewees, Maggie Thomas, Jasper Baker, and Louisa Baker. His great-grandchildren, Kairam Bailey, Kindred Thomas, Hawthorne Thomas, and Liam Baker, are the living echoes of his legacy.
Michael wove the threads of life’s tapestry with poetic fervor. He believed in the power of the mind and intellect as our guiding stars, yet he knew it was the strength of our collective that would bound us in unity. Love and desire, those fervent flames that lit his path, made us happy, and the unwavering dedication to this love made us all inseparable. He urged us to embrace the unknown without unease, for the goddess of adventure was always by our side, ready to lead us into the abyss of the unknown.
Michael was a beacon of patience and warmth, a steadfast presence in the lives of those who had the privilege of knowing him. He encouraged those around him not to fear, even in the face of the unknown. His enduring belief in the presence of the goddess, an unwavering force of love and light, served as a source of inspiration to all who crossed his path. Michael’s life was a testament to an unscripted, rebellious dance with existence. He championed values that transcended convention, values of boundless love, unwavering community, and unapologetic political advocacy.
In his memory, let us all embrace our own adventures, pen our own fearless narratives, and march to the chaotic but beautiful rhythms of our hearts. Michael’s spirit may have left this world, but the wildfire of his existence burns on in the hearts of those who knew him, loved him, and were forever changed by his journey.
Rest easy, Michael, the poet of life’s epic, the adventurer of our time, and the faithful disciple of the goddess who guided you through the stormy seas. Your words, your love, your essence – they live on, always.
Michael’s family invites his friends and neighbors to celebrate his life at the Orcas Hotel on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 1 p.m.