Raleigh Police Officer Remembered For Life He Led
Posted May 31, 2006 8:57 a.m. EDT
GARNER, N.C. — When 46-year-old Greg Baker, a Raleigh police officer, husband and father of two young girls, died this past weekend after a battle with melanoma, his 4-year-old gave the family's pastor a message:
"'Tell my daddy I love him.' We all loved Greg Baker," said the Rev. Randy Maynard of the Saint Andrews United Methodist Church in Garner.
Amid a sea of blue, the 17-year-veteran of the police force, a narcotics detective, was remembered by friends and family.
"(He was) the unconditional friend you just call up and say, 'I need you,'" said Raleigh detective Buddy Young, Baker's co-worker and closest friend. "He doesn't ask why, he just gets there. And that was Greg."
"He was an excellent man, a good father, he was respected by everybody," said Wake County District Court Judge Paul Gessner who worked with Baker when he first joined the police force.
Officer Jack Libby heads a law enforcement association called the Emerald Society. They have raised more than $35,000 for the family. Libby said everyone was willing to give because Baker was such a highly respected officer.
"He was an awesome cop, diligent, hardworking, honest," Libby said.
Baker's wife, Cindi Baker, spent months at her husband's bedside as he battled the illness.
"I told him shortly before he passed that I would always love him, that he would always be my husband," Cindi Baker said. "He would always be my best friend, he would always be my soul mate, and I would always be his wife."
Last year, before Greg Baker discovered he was terminally ill, his oldest daughter Kara was diagnosed with cancer. After she got sick, he told friends and family repeatedly that he wished the cancer could be taken from her and given to him.
Kara is now in remission. Even though he knew intellectually that God did not take Kara's cancer and give it to him, Cindi Baker said her husband still felt like, in some way, his prayers had been answered.
"He told me a few months ago that he was at peace with all of this because he felt like he was taking Kara's bullet," Cindi Baker said. "That's the way cops talk. He said he felt like he was taking Kara's bullet."