Cozy Baker Obituary
Michael Anthony "Cozy" Baker, age 60, of Guntersville, AL, passed away on Saturday, December 27, 2008 at the Birmingham, AL Veterans Administration Hospital after a prolonged illness.
He was the son of the late Herbert Earl Baker (November 22, 1917 – November 23, 1967; originally from Mercer County, KY) and the late Hazel Geneal (Horton) Baker Palmer Stephenson (November 12, 1922 – December 21, 2000; originally from New Harmony, AL). Mike was born on December 20, 1948 in Dayton, OH. He is survived by his wife, Suzana (Crown Point, IN), and her children Marjan and Erieta (Serbia).
He is also survived by his sister Jill (Baker) Altman and her husband Jerry (Palm Coast, FL); his brother, Joseph Baker and his wife, Sherry (Burton) (Germantown, OH); a half-sister, Margaret Sue (Baker) Caywood (Lexington, KY); and a half brother, Nelson Baker and his wife, Viola (Lexington, KY); a step-sister, Debra Palmer (Phoenix, AZ); and a step-brother, Brian Palmer (Phoenix, AZ); and his loving companion for many years, Shadow (now living with Jeff and Terri Erickson near Chicago, IL). Mike, “Cozy,” will be deeply missed by many relatives and friends.
Mike grew up in Miamisburg, OH and Germantown, OH and was a 1966 graduate of Miamisburg High School, Miamisburg, OH. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio State University, Columbus, OH in 1973 where he played trumpet with the OSU marching band (TBDBITL) for several years including the 1969 Rose Bowl (OSU defeated USC & OJ Simpson, 27-16).
He served in the US Navy where he trained as a naval aviator in Pensacola, FL. In his multi-faceted career, he served as advanced systems engineering analyst, technical writer, and computer system administrator for several aeronautical companies including Lockheed/General Dynamics, Rockwell International, and Boeing for over 15 years. He was involved with the initial military deployments of the US Air Force F-16 Fighter Jet (General Dynamics, Fort Worth, TX) and B-2 Bomber (Boeing, Seattle, WA) programs. He was also an avid scuba diver for many years, including dives in the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. He was an accomplished scuba instructor and owned his own scuba store for brief time in the early 1990s. He was also a private pilot, owning his own small 2 seat Cessna. In addition, he was a trumpet dealer, trumpet teacher, and even a radio DJ with “Mama Jazz” in Oxford, OH.
Most recently he served as Features Editor/Columnist to both Drum Corps World and Drum Corps Planet. He became known for his distinctive writing style (Rachacha cha cha) and his respect for the traditions and history of Drum & Bugle Corps. He served as an ambassador for all types and sizes of drum corps including individual, ensembles and minicorps in addition to the smallest of drum corps to the largest. He was a contributor to “A History of Drum & Bugle Corps” Volumes 1 and 2, published by Steve Vickers and Drum Corps World. He has also served on the organizational staff of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) as well as providing assistance to various events for Drum Corps International (DCI), Winter Guard and Winter Percussion (WGI) for many years.
Cozy at 2008 DCA Championships
“Cozy” marched and played soprano bugle with the 1994 Drum Corps Associates World Champions, the Empire Statesmen of Rochester, NY. He also was founder, director and soloist of the Mirage All-Age Drum Corps based in Miamisburg, OH in the mid 1990s. He participated in various other drum corps and musical groups over the past 45 years including the Racine Kilties (Racine, WI) Drum Corps, CorpVets (Atlanta, GA) Drum Corps, Cincinnati Tradition (Cincinnati, OH) Drum Corps, Derby City Knights (Louisville, KY) Drum Corps, Conquistadors (Miami Valley of OH) Musical Baton Corps, Sharon Kaye’s Kaye-Dettes (Miamisburg, OH) Musical Baton Corps, and The Soul Root (Richmond, KY) rock band, and many more. He founded and directed the Star City Community Band of Miamisburg, OH during the 1990s. He was also a consultant over the years to various high school and college marching bands across the country including the Miamisburg High School Marching Band, Miamisburg, OH, Guntersville High School Marching Band, Guntersville, AL, and the University of Cincinnati Marching Band, Cincinnati, OH.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held January 18, 2009, at the Lake Guntersville Resort State Park Lodge, Lake Guntersville, AL, in the Camellia room at 1:00PM CT. It is the wish of the family that in lieu of flowers, contributions in Michael “Cozy” Baker’s memory be made to a charity of the individual’s choice, a Drum Corps organization, or the sponsorship of a member of a drum corps. Please contact the Drum Corps of your choice or one or more of the following organizations if interested in more information: Tom Peashey, Public Relations Director for Drum Corps Associates (dcacorps.org); John Donovan, Publisher of Drum Corps Planet (drumcorpsplanet.com); Steve Vickers, Publisher of Drum Corps World (drumcorpsworld.com); or Drum Corps International (dci.org).
Mike "Cozy" Baker
Dec 20, 1948 – Dec 27, 2008