Lawton says goodbye to one of the last Buffalo Soldiers - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawton says goodbye to one of the last Buffalo Soldiers

The 9th Cavalry The 9th Cavalry

Lawton_Lawton said goodbye to a man who left his mark on the community, Tuesday.  Funeral services for John Baker, one of the last Buffalo Soldiers, were held as family and friends remembered him.  They remembered him as "...a soldier, a first class horseman, and a businessman." 

Baker was part of the segregated 9th Cavalry with honors for 20 years, until it was taken off active status in 1944 during World War II.  He continued to serve his country in the Army until 1959, moving to Lawton to open a janitorial service that he operated until 1990.

Instead of a funeral, Baker's family called it a celebration - honoring the life of a man who trail blazed new opportunities for African Americans.  The Union Baptist Church was overflowing with people there to honor his life. 

Command Sergeant Major "Tiger" Gaines spoke of the impact Baker made as one of the last original Buffalo Soldiers.  "I'll say today, if it wasn't for John Baker and the Buffalo Soldiers, and the soldiers today, we wouldn't be where we are today," said Gaines.  He says Baker didn't like to talk about those hard days in the 9th Cavalry - he liked to talk about how it made him a better man.

"He always said, ‘You know, as a black person,' ...he used to call me young trooper... he said, ‘We ain't where we want to be, we're not where the constitution says we should be, but from where I came from, we're a heck of a lot better than we used to be,'" Gaines remembered. 

Baker went on to start a successful janitorial service in Lawton, but his true passion was for horses.  He and his wife founded the Lawton Silver Spurs Riding Club, and friends say his love for horses was second only to his family.  "John Baker was a very modest man - too modest for the things he's done," says Gaines.  Family members, friends, and his fellow soldiers say they won't forget him.  "We're gonna miss him, the community's gonna miss him. He was a great man."

Mr. Baker had just turned 91 and would have celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary this year.  He is buried at the Fort Sill National Cemetery with military honors.  The Lawton/Fort Sill community will miss him.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • GOP struggles to salvage immigration bill, postpones vote

    GOP struggles to salvage immigration bill, postpones vote

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:41 AM EDT2018-06-21 04:41:36 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:06 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:06:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., left, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talks following a closed-door conference with fellow Rep...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., left, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talks following a closed-door conference with fellow Rep...

    An ambitious House GOP immigration overhaul is teetering ahead of voting.

    An ambitious House GOP immigration overhaul is teetering ahead of voting.

  • In reversal, Trump orders halt to his family separation rule

    In reversal, Trump orders halt to his family separation rule

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:21 AM EDT2018-06-20 15:21:21 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:06 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:06:20 GMT
    A boy stares out of a heavily tinted bus window leaving a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility Tuesday in McAllen, TX. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)A boy stares out of a heavily tinted bus window leaving a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility Tuesday in McAllen, TX. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border, says 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue.

    Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border, says 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue.

  • Trump defends his hard-line immigration policies to cheers

    Trump defends his hard-line immigration policies to cheers

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:21 AM EDT2018-06-21 04:21:49 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:06 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:06:08 GMT
    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn., Wednesday, June 20, 2018.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn., Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

    Drawing cheers at a rally, Trump defended his hard-line immigration policies just hours after backing off efforts to separate immigrant families.

    Drawing cheers at a rally, Trump defended his hard-line immigration policies just hours after backing off efforts to separate immigrant families.

Powered by Frankly