William Burl Baker, Jr., better known as “Buck,” 71, of Crumpler, N.C., died on Thursday, July 1, 2021 at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem.

Mr. Baker was born in Ashe County on January 27, 1950 to the late William Burl Baker, Sr. and Frances Blevins Baker. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Crystal Baker.

Mr. Baker served in the US Marine Corps from 1969-1973. He became a civilian for about six months and then enlisted in the US Navy, where he would serve from 1974 until 1991 and then retire. William was an avid playwright & actor with the Ashe County Little Theatre, writing the plays “Trial of Will Banks” and “Dinner at Noon”. He was a modeler, making miniature scenes, structures, and automobiles, most notably, he was instrumental in his work with the historical society in creating the Virginia Creeper exhibit at the Museum of Ashe County History.

Mr. Baker is survived by one son, William Burl Baker, III of Crumpler; one daughter, Heather Arreola of Crumpler; his ex-wife and friend, Cheryl Anne Baker of Crumpler. Also surviving are five grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at 12 p.m. on Friday, July 9, 2021 at Ashelawn Memorial Chapel. Burial with military rites followed in Ashelawn Memorial Gardens. The family received friends one hour prior to the service at Ashelawn.

Flowers were appreciated or memorials may be made to: American Cancer Society, Attn: Ashe County, 7027 Albert Pick Road Suite 104, Greensboro, NC 27409.

Words of comfort and remembrance may be viewed or sent to the family through our website at

Ashelawn Memorial Chapel & Gardens was entrusted with Mr. Baker’s arrangements.

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