We honor those many W.H.E.A.T. members who are gone, but not forgotten!
"Forever in our Hearts"
Irvin Anthony Baker
Mar 8, 1939 - Nov 12, 2019
Irvin Baker's story begins in a farm house in Ocheydan, Iowa, on March 8, 1939, where he was born on a cold wintery day to Andrew and Rena Baker. He was the eldest son from a family of six children and grew up on a dairy in Holland, Minnesota. Not liking the frigid winters of Minnesota he moved to Ripon, California in his twenties where he met his future wife, Judy, just around the block. They were married in Visalia, California and celebrated 52 years of marriage last February. They were blessed with 3 sons: Scott (Shelley) Baker (Ripon), Brian Baker (Ripon), Allen Baker (Spokane, Washington) and 5 grandchildren: Matthew, Samantha, Brooke, Isabelle, and Gabe. He is also survived by his older sister Reugena Vander Syde (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and younger siblings Lloyd Baker (Ashton, Iowa), Ardys Manzey (Sherburn, Minnesota), Leon Baker (Oshkosh, Wisconsin), and Norman Baker (Bay City, Wisconsin).
Prior to his retirement Irv owned and operated Baker Fabricators for approximately 40 years and later worked for HW Construction. However, his heart was in his collection of antique tractors which his wife affectionately called "rusty shrubbery." He loved the Lord and attended the First Christian Reformed Church in Ripon, California. The final chapter of his life was fast approaching after a brief illness and hospitalization and the closing pages were written on November 12, 2019, in his home where he passed away. "Safe in the arms of Jesus, sweetly my soul shall rest." Memorial services will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at 11:00 at the First Christian Reformed Church, 305 Boesh Drive, Ripon, CA. A light luncheon will follow in the church social hall.
Milton "Dean" Abbott (1945 - 2016)
Milton "Dean" Abbott
December 1945 ~ March 2016
Dean Abbott 70, passed away Friday, March 4, 2016 unexpectedly at his home. Dean was born in Turlock, CA and lived most of his life in the Hilmar, CA area with a short period in Oakdale, CA.
Dean was always around farming having been raised on his family's chicken ranch, helping his grandparents with their walnut ranch and helping neighbors with various jobs they needed done. He was a very active member of the Hilmar High School FFA holding several offices. He received a State FFA Award in 1963 and was awarded a National Poultry Farm award in 1964 at the annual FFA Convention in Kansas City. After graduating high school he worked for local Ag equipment dealership Garton Tractor as a mechanic. Dean later owned his own custom farming business for several years. He was later involved in trucking as a driver and a mechanic for several companies with his last employer being Billy Grissom Custom Farming until retirement.
Dean and his wife Sandy were heavily involved with the national clubs W.H.E.A.T and EDGE as both office holders and participating in showing tractors and old engines. You could always see Dean showing his old engines and tractors at the Stanislaus and Merced county fairs every summer. As some friends were together visiting Sandy after Dean's passing, it was commented that a lot of knowledge was lost with Dean's passing.
Dean was a long time hunter, fisherman and loved camping. Every year Dean and Sandy would travel to an annual deer hunting camp in Tennant, CA where his family and long time friends would meet for two weeks of fun and good times. Dean usually did not come home empty handed.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents Perry Milton Abbott and Cecil Nadine Abbott. He is survived by his wife Sandy of Turlock, sons Rick Jensen (Jennifer) of Turlock, Russell Jensen (Judy) of Modesto and Robert Jensen (Lisa) of Turlock. Dean also has another daughter and son, Shelly Williams and Richard Baptista. Dean left behind a total of 8 grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, April 10th at 11:00am at 400 E Clausen Rd. in Turlock, CA. In Lieu of flowers please send a donation to W.H.E.A.T. PO Box 384 Turlock, CA 95381.
Abraham Dick (1925 - 2015)
Abraham Dick was born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, to John and Susie Dick. He was the tenth of thirteen children. He grew up working the farm until he enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He served on the USS Berrien, and bravely ran the troop transport craft onto the beaches of Iwo Jima. When he was discharged he met and married Carolyn Anderson. They remained married for 64 years until her death last year. "Old Abe" worked as a postman for thirty years before retiring. His hobbies included windmills, old engines, Model T's, and making sure everyone at the Stanislaus County Fair knew how a corn huller worked. He is survived by his sons Roger (Diane), Tom (Maureen), David (Nancy), Steven (Ellyn); twelve grandchildren, and 10 ½ great grand-children.
Greg Fairbairn (1955-2014)
Greg Fairbairn passed away in Modesto on October 16, 2014 at the age of 59. Greg was born on July 3rd, 1955 to James and Blanche Fairbairn in Sacramento, CA. He has been a resident of the Turlock area for the past 31 years.
Greg received his AA from Cosumnes River College and attended Fresno State. Greg was a member of the W.H.E.A.T –Western Heritage Engine Antiques and Tractors club. He was also a member of the EDGE & TA and the Optimist Club of Modesto. During his free time, Greg collected antiques, tractors, tools and gas engines. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt and farm. He was a wonderful husband, father and friend and will be deeply missed.
Greg leaves behind his wife of 29 years, Carol Fairbairn, his children: Danielle Fairbairn of Turlock and Sean Fairbairn also of Turlock, his mother, Blanche Fairbairn of Elk Grove, his siblings, Bill Fairbairn of Elk Grove, Roger Fairbairn of Placerville and Andy Fairbairn of Elk Grove, his mother-in-law, Wanda Kissinger and his brother & sister-in-law, Mark and Barbara Santos of Modesto, along with numerous nieces and nephews and his best friend, Ed Winslow of Sacramento. Greg is preceded in death by his father, James Fairbairn.
Donald Hall (1921 - 2014)
Don was born in Hemet, CA to Harry and Gladys Hall on December 6, 1921, and joined his wife of 61 years, Bernice, in heaven on August 18, 2014. While in Hemet, his family raised dairy cattle and Percheron horses. Don and his family moved to Hilmar in 1935, and then to Denair in 1936. The family raised Jersey dairy cattle and Beef Shorthorns. He graduated in 1939 from Denair High School and Modesto Junior College in 1941. His studies were interrupted by four years' service in the 8th Army Air Corps, stationed in England as an aeronautical mechanic. Don and his crew kept the planes flying to Normandy on D-Day. After his discharge, he returned to California and graduated from U.C. Davis in 1947 with a degree in Agricultural Education. Don taught at Sonora High School for 2 years before coming to Turlock High School for 30 years. He coached two State FFA Championship Farm Mechanics teams and had 50 State Farmer degree students, 7 American Farmer degree students, and numerous judging teams in Livestock and Agricultural Mechanics. He also served as the CATA (California Ag Teachers' Association) President of the Central Region. Don was a member and director of the California Beef Shorthorn Breeders Association for years. He was instrumental in organizing the first Junior Association and starting many field days for the group. Don was awarded the Western Fairs Blue Ribbon award at the Stanislaus County Fair in 2011. Don was instrumental in starting the Junior Livestock Auction at the Stanislaus County Fair, with the help of fellow Ag Instructor from Denair, Earl Reed. Don was involved with the Denair Lions Club for many years, serving on local boards and the district board of directors. He also was involved with the 12:10 Lions of Turlock for several years. He was a member of W.H.E.A.T. - antique engines and tractor with renovating and restoring his engines and 3 antique tractors. He would exhibit these at Stanislaus County Fair and other exhibit days throughout the State. He truly loved his antiques. Don was a Denair Fire Commissioner for many years. Bernice and Don travelled with their RV group, All Seasons, to many western states, New Zealand and Australia, as well as Alaska. They also did many fishing trips and deep sea fishing. Don is survived by his daughter Marlys (Dan) Layne of Turlock, and son, Mike (Wendy) Hall of Arroyo Grande, his grandchildren - Stacy (Russell) Dietz of Shepherd, MT and Scott (Keri) Layne of Modesto. Watching his Great-Granddaughters, Amber and Allison Layne and Kolby and Lexy Dietz, become active in sports and the agricultural industry gave Don much pride. He was preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Larson.
Carolyn Josephine Dick (1927-2014)
Carolyn Dick was born in Fairmont, MN.
She passed from this world peacefully in Oakdale, CA.
Carolyn is survived by her husband Abe, sons: Roger,
Tom, David, Steven, 12 grandchildren and 9 greatgrandchildren.