Cover photo for Merlen L. Baker's Obituary
Merlen L. Baker Profile Photo
1928 Merlen 2016

Merlen L. Baker

February 29, 1928 — November 3, 2016

Funeral services for Merlen L. Baker 88 (actually 22 “real” birthdays as Merlen always joked, as he was a leap year baby) of Fort Dodge will be Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Fort Dodge with Rev. Andrea Kraushaar officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday 4pm to 7pm at the Historic Bruce Funeral Home in Fort Dodge. Visitation will continue Wednesday one hour prior to services at the church. Burial in West Lawn Cemetery, Lehigh, Iowa.


Merlen L. Baker was born February 29, 1928 in Story City, Iowa to Leonard and Leona Baker. He graduated from Lehigh Public School. Merlen served in the U.S. Army from September 30, 1946 – January 12, 1948, receiving the WWII Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal – Japan.


At the age of 22, Merlen met the love of his life, Doris Espinoza. The couple married on Oct. 5, 1950 in Austin, MN. On May 11, 1951 and April 22, 1955 respectively he welcomed his two beautiful daughters, who were the most important part of his life. Merlen worked for Hormel for over 37 years. He took part in RAGBRAI for 11 years and ran marathons, where he won several awards. He also enjoyed fishing in Canada for 18 years, NASCAR, bow hunting , kayaking, and attending the grandkids sporting events. Merlen was a problem solver, who often took on difficult and unwanted projects at home and the homes of his daughters and their families. He was a member of First United Methodist Church. Merlen died unexpectedly on November 3, 2016, from injuries sustained in a fall. He was a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family and all that knew him.


He is survived by his wife Doris, daughters; Pam (Michael) McLary, Fort Dodge, and Sheree (Bill) Holmstrom, Hampton, grandchildren; Michelle Doyen, Erin (Jeff) Pederson, Laura (Aaron) Lester, Shannon (Bill) Armstrong, great grandchildren; Maisie (Charlie) Hansen, Chase Lester, Hunter Doyen, Braydie Doyen. Gabby Armstrong, Layne Lester, Nora Pederson, Gracie Pederson, Finley Armstrong and great-great grandchildren; Willow and Anker Hansen and two expected soon.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Leona Baker, brothers; Don Baker, Gerald Baker and Melvin Baker and sisters; Geneva Hartman and Helen Johnson.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merlen L. Baker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Funeral Home

, IA

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

First United Methodist Church

, Fort Dodge, IA 50501

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