CHARLOTTE Harold Wayne Baker, 70, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Charlotte. Wayne was born in Mooresville, Sept. 3, 1949, to the late Virginia Atwell Baker and Frank Henry Baker. Wayne graduated from Mooresville High School in 1967 and from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1972, with a B.A. in Psychology. After college, Wayne joined Reeves Brothers in the foam manufacturing industry in Orlando, Fla., where he met his wife and life-long love of 43 years, Elana Baker. Job promotions led Wayne to Tampa, Fla., in 1982, where he managed a manufacturing facility in the polyurethane foam industry. Wayne continued his dedicated service there until retirement in 2017. In 2018, shortly after retirement, Wayne's North Carolina roots pulled him back to his most recent home in Charlotte. Wayne will be remembered for his love of learning, the outdoors and music but most especially for his love of family and his lifelong commitment to them. Wayne grew up walking and hunting in the woods of his native Mooresville but most recently could always find pleasure watching the wildlife just off his back porch and fishing in Lake Wylie. Music was a passion which he expressed by playing piano and as the bass player for Novas Nine during high school; he was always attuned to music. Wayne lived to learn and never met a challenge he couldn't surmount by investigation and analysis. He was constantly teaching himself new skills; be it accounting, gardening, computer skills or how things worked; he was constantly tinkering and could pass endless hours in his garage making things work. Wayne is survived by his wife of 40 years, Elana Baker; sister and brother-in-law, Ann Baker and Lance Brockmeier; son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Amy Cottam; son and daughter-in-law, Brandon and Marion Baker; and daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Adam Winter. He is also survived by his seven grandchildren, Danielle, Kaitlyn and Hayley Cottam; Amory and Oakley Baker; and Fiona and Arthur Winter. Wayne will also be missed by a wide circle of friends and relatives he touched over his long life. Wayne's family hosted a visitation for friends and family Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, at 10 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m., celebrating Wayne's life. Both events were held at McEwen Funeral Home, 10500 Park Rd in Charlotte, 704-544-1412. In lieu of flowers, the Baker family encourages memorial donations to your local chapter of Meals on Wheels America, the American Heart Association, or the Alzheimer's Association. Condolences may be offered at www.mcewenpinevillechapel.com.
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