An editorial from the Modoc County record-August 29, 2002
Modoc County lost a very special person, Superior Court Judge John Baker to cancer last week at the age of 61. The county, and we, not only lost an official of high regard, but a friend who showed real strength and who was tenacious in his opinions and his compassion.
I don't believe replacing Judge Baker on the bench will be an easy task. It will take some time to fill the space his intelligence, his fairness and his progressive attitude occupied. When John Baker was in the room, most people knew wh was there and they respoected his opinion and sought his advice, even though he was a relatively private man for his very public offices.
I have been on the good side and on the opposite side of Baker in the many issues that faced this county during his tenure as District Attorney, City Attorney, private attorney, and as Judge. He always had the best interests of this county at heart. Through it all, he was open, he was always available and he was always quick with his wit and real in his friendship. He was, beyond a doubt, one of the brightest people I've ever met. During the city's condemnation effort of Pacific Power and Light, he had an army of PP&L attorneys on the run. He never wavered in his belief that the city was on the right track.
Most people who know him knew he put his family above all else and enjoyed not only his immediate family, but the entire Baker family and relatives.
In his 61 years, John Baker accomplished most, if not all, of his professional goals and was surrounded by an amazing family and loyal frends. He's gone entirely too early, but his legacy will endure. We'll miss him.