Ernest Linwood Baker Jr.

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ernest Linwood “Ernie” Baker Jr. passed away on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Roanoke.

He was excited to celebrate his 100th birthday in April. Ernie was born in Suffolk on April 12, 1919, to Luna Mae (Hutchings) Baker and Ernest Linwood Baker Sr. He lived in Suffolk until he graduated from high school, working from a young age in his father’s shoe store and as a young man at one of the banks. Ernie attended the College of William & Mary and served in the U.S. Army in the Finance Corps stateside during World War II. As a young man, he also lived and worked in Richmond, prior to becoming an accountant and chief executive officer of Blue Ridge Blue Buckle Overall Company in Lynchburg and New York City.

In 1951, Ernie purchased General Insurance of Roanoke, Inc. and he moved to Roanoke with his wife, Nat. They raised their family in Roanoke. Ernie was a founding member of Windsor Hills United Methodist Church. He was a member of the Royal Arch Chapter of Masons for 77 years. In retirement, Ernie and Nat became snowbirds, spending the winter months in Briny Breezes, Fla. Ernie will be missed by his family and his many friends at Brandon Oaks Retirement Community and in Florida.

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He was predeceased by his parents, Ernest “Linwood” Baker Sr. and Luna Mae (Hutchings) Baker; and his wife of 58 years, Natalie “Nat” Baron (Abbot) Baker.

Ernie is survived by his children, Ernest “Lin” Linwood Baker III, of Roanoke, and Sandra “Sandy” Abbot (Baker) Olphie, of Austin, Texas; grandson, Ryan Richard Olphie, of Austin, Texas; and cousin, John Pilcher Bradshaw and his wife, Matilde Bradshaw.

A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Windsor Hills United Methodist Church, 3591 Windsor Road, SW, Roanoke.

In lieu of flowers, if desired, donations may be made in Ernie’s name to Goodwill — New Vision, 2502 Melrose Avenue, NW, Suite B, Roanoke, VA 24017; Shriner’s Hospital for Children, c/o Donor Relations, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607, (844) 739-0849; or to Windsor Hills Methodist Church, 3591 Windsor Road, Roanoke, VA 24018.

Arrangements by Oakey’s Funeral Service — Roanoke Chapel, Roanoke, (540) 982-2100. Online condolences may be expressed at