On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, Linny Marshall Baker of Concord, NC passed away at the age of 88 following a brief illness. Born March 11, 1934, in Ashe County, Linny was the youngest of five children born to Linny McKinley Baker and Bertha Phillips Baker. Linny was preceded in death by his father, who passed away unexpectedly in late 1933, prior to Linny’s birth. He initially grew up in Wilkes County before moving with his family to Kannapolis, NC, in 1942.
Linny graduated from A.L. Brown High School in 1952 as valedictorian and co-captain of the Wonder’s state championship basketball team. He was also one of the student representatives from A.L. Brown who joined their counterparts from Concord High School to acquire the “victory bell” from Southern Railway in 1950. After graduating as salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College in 1956, Linny graduated at the top of his class from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1960 and attained the highest score in North Carolina on his state board examination. Following medical school, he pursued a residency in Pediatrics at Duke University Hospital where he was selected as Chief Resident in 1962 and was named a Wyeth Fellow, which recognized him as one of the top pediatric residents in the United States.
In 1956, Linny married the love of his life, the former Joyce Carroll Holshouser. In 1963, Linny and Joyce moved back to Cabarrus County and made their home in Concord. He joined the Cabarrus Pediatric Clinic and embarked on a lifelong mission of caring for many local children as well as serving his community through involvement in various organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary, and the Jaycees. He also served as chief of the medical staff at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital, Captain and physician in the US Army National Guard, Chairman of the Cabarrus County Board of Health, and Chairman of the Northeast Foundation Board. Linny was an active member of St. James Lutheran Church where he spent over 40 years teaching Sunday School and frequently serving in various leadership positions within the church.
In 1999, Linny retired from the Cabarrus Pediatric Clinic and began working as a pediatrician for the Cabarrus Health Alliance. After more than 50 years of practicing medicine, Linny treated his last patient in 2015 at the age of 81 and permanently retired his stethoscope. The Health Alliance honored him by naming their children’s clinic the “Linny M. Baker Pediatric Clinic.” In 2016, the Governor of North Carolina awarded Linny with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor in the state.
In his spare time, Linny was a devoted family man and spent many years supporting his children’s and grandchildren’s various endeavors. He also enjoyed playing golf, snow skiing, and pulling for the Duke Blue Devils. Being an A.L. Brown and Duke graduate, he was often reminded by his three children, all of whom attended Concord High School and UNC, that he was on the wrong side of these big rivalries.
Linny was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce, mother, Bertha, father, Linny, and three siblings, Herbert Baker, Ruby Lynch, and Eunice Bradshaw. He is survived by his sister, Lois Wetter, as well as his three children, including daughter, Deedee Gilbert, and husband, Jeff Gilbert; son, Dr. Scott Baker, and wife, Dr. Kristin Baker; and son, Brad Baker; all of Concord. Additionally, he is survived by six adoring grandchildren, Leah Baker, Kelli Baker, Michael Baker, Marshall Cromer, Thomas Baker, and Emerson Baker. Linny is also survived by his close friend and companion, Patricia (Pat) O’Neal, who continued to remain by his side during his final days.
The family will receive friends at Wilkinson Funeral Home in Concord on Friday, July 1, from 4 to 7 pm. A service to honor Linny’s life will be held at St. James Lutheran Church in Concord on Saturday, July 2, at 2 pm. A graveside burial will be at Carolina Memorial Park in Kannapolis immediately following the service. The family would like to thank the staff at the Gardens of Taylor Glenn for their kind and compassionate care for our father.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. James Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 684, Concord, NC 28026-0684, or the Boys and Girls Club of Cabarrus County, P.O. Box 1405, Concord, NC 28026-1405.