Just recived a e mail :
It is with great sadness that we pass along the news that good friend and longtime ACE member Gary Baker passed away at his home last night. He was working that evening but went home early as he was sick. While the exact circumstances are not known, emergency responders arrived, but it was apparently too late at that point.
Gary Baker was truly a legend among coaster enthusiasts.
For the past several years, Gary worked part-time at Kennywood, a job that he truly enjoyed. Many members have fond memories of him operating coasters and doing coaster trivia on the PA system, giving behind-the-scenes tours of Noah's Ark, and wearing ghoulish makeup to serve as the gatekeeper of the Haunted Ark during Phantom Fright Nights. The staff at Kennywood is in shock over this news.
Gary has been active in ACE since the moment he joined, serving as a regional rep or assistant regional rep for nearly all of that time. Gary also served as ACE's national events director from 1998-2004, a position that he found most rewarding. He enjoyed planning events for others to enjoy, and put his heart into it.
Gary touched the lives of many ACE members in Western Pennsylvania and throughout the world. He and his fun-loving style and personality will be missed by many. The events that he attended and planned have created thousands of memories that will be cherished forever.
Due to family circumstances, no public viewing or funeral is planned. It is expected that a memorial service to celebrate his life will be planned in the near future. ACE Western Pennsylvania will keep you posted when any such plans are finalized. More tributes to Gary will appear in future issues of The Fun Times, ACE News, and on ACEwesternPA.org. We encourage you to visit the Web sites for periodic updates and posts.
Thanks for the memories Gary--we'll miss you.
Gary was the first person to make me feel welcome in ACE, when I met him at Ridefest at Lakemont in 2006, my first ACE event. He was full of stories, took lots of questions (including some dumb ones from me!), and was full of personality.
Thanks, Gary...rest in peace.Last edited by bratman, Monday, October 19, 2009 11:57 PM
Article now available from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
What more can I add? Western PA is going to be a very different place without him.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
I've already said this elswhere, but Gary was always a smiling and helpful person - a great ambassador for the hobby and for ACE. he will be missed...
He's likely up in heaven and return as a gaurdian agle of all us coaster junkies.
I wish I had had the pleasure to meet Gary. He sounded like a fun guy to be around.
Not a big fan of ACE, but after reading the link Rideman provided, this guy seemed like a fun individual to be around.
Sad he passed at a young age (yes, 60 is young to be passing away).
Gary was one of the good ones. The turnout for the memorial on Monday night was just astounding, and very touching. I didn't stay long, and I'm sure even more people filtered in as the night went on, but it was obvious he was well-liked and will be missed.
I didn't know him very well but he was always a very warm and friendly guy whenever I would see him at events. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.
RIP Gary. :(
-TinaLast edited by coasterqueenTRN, Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:35 AM
Gary was a great man. If I remember correctly, he was ACE's events director back in 2001, when they had the Preservation event at Rye Playland, and Lake Compounce. I couldn't tell him enough times, how much of a great time I had at that event. It may have had something to do with getting that Kiddie Coaster credit.
Thank You for everyting Gary, you will be missed. :(
Gary was a good guy. I was just harassing him for breaking a ride last week. He was always in good humor.
We weren't best pals or anything, but we used to end up at the same bar after work a lot, and we spent quite a few drinks BS-ing about random stuff.
He never seemed overly concerned about stuff like coaster credits or status (or gravy)... just a guy that thought this stuff is really fun and wanted to be a part of it.
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