January 13, 2018
John Robert Baab (1927-2017)
Lake Forest, California – John Robert Baab, 90, left this life on
Thursday, December 21, 2017, at Freedom Village retirement
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marilyn; his son, David, and
daughter-in-law, Katherine, and their son, Christopher – residents
of Tustin, California; his son, Ben, and daughter-in-law, Martha, -
residents of Lafayette, California, their daughter, Caroline, a
resident of Anagance, New Brunswick, Canada, and their son, Will, a
resident of El Cerrito, California.
John had many nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and nephews who
fondly called him Uncle John. He enjoyed many friendships throughout
California: at Freedom Village in Lake Forest, at The Groves
retirement community in Irvine, at Red Hill Lutheran Church in
Tustin, and at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette.
John was born on December 7, 1927, in Dayton, Ohio, to Carl B. Baab
and Freda A. Baab. He grew up around the Dayton area and graduated
from Northridge High School in 1946. Upon graduation, he joined the
US Navy and was stationed on the submarine tender, USS Bushnell, out
of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. His tour of duty included time in the
Marshall Islands during the testing of atomic bombs. He was
honorably discharged in 1948.
John attended college, the first of his family, at Capital
University in Columbus, Ohio. His days at Capital were interrupted
between 1950 and 1952 when he was recalled to serve in the Navy due
to the Korean conflict. He was stationed at North Island, San Diego,
California, and was honorably discharged again in 1952. He graduated
from Capital University with a Bachelor of Science in Education in
1954; and then earned a Master of Education degree from Miami
University of Ohio in 1956.
John’s teaching career began at Highview Elementary in Dayton, Ohio,
in 1954. His first assignment was a combined 7th/8th grade
class. While there, John met, courted, and married one of the
1st grade teachers, Marilyn Demmler from Dayton.
John’s career in education included several years as an elementary
school principal in Ohio and California. After he retired from
full-time teaching in 1981, John supported the growth and nurturing
of all three grandchildren as their dear Papa John, first living in
the Bay Area in the early 1990s to be close to Caroline and Will;
and then, since 1997, in Southern California to be close to Chris.
John’s passions included his wife, Marilyn; traveling, especially
cruises and long driving trips; gardening; singing karaoke; being
the first on the dance floor; helping his neighbors; making
strangers feel welcome; taking long walks; and enjoying an active
worship life: leading classes at Bible Study Fellowship in Newport
Beach, volunteering at Rancho Santa Marta children’s home in Baja
California, participating in numerous work parties, and being quick
to tell others that God loves them.
His smile and the sparkle in his eye will be missed.