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Baber, Joe Payne

Obituary

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, Joe Payne Baber, loving and devoted husband, father, son, brother and friend answered God’s call home at the age of 47.  Joe was born to Janet Knowles “JK” Baber and James P.   “Babo” Baber on July 20, 1973 in Dallas, Texas.

He is preceded in death by his father, James Payne Baber, and children, Joe Everett and Catherine Jane Baber.  He is survived by his wife Erin, son James, mother JK and sister Angela, aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends.

He attended Good Shepherd Episcopal School, Jesuit Preparatory School and graduated from W.T. White High School. Joe quickly made lifelong friends at all of these schools and lived the Jesuit principle of “Men for Others”.

Joe attended Texas Tech University before finding his call to serve our country in the United States Navy.  He quickly rose into leadership as a  Damage Controlman and Fire Marshall, earning several service awards. He departed the Navy in 1996 “to go see about a girl back in Texas”, who asked to be his pen pal throughout his final tour in the Persian Gulf. During their correspondence, Joe expressed his commitment to being a lifelong Episcopalian as well as a sincere and deep appreciation for the sacrifices his mother made to “love the hell out of him.”

Joe married his pen pal, Erin Michele Baker on June 1, 2002 and they enjoyed many adventures:  sailing competitively and for pleasure, traveling and listening to live music, or just grilling and dancing on the deck. Joe spent 14 years as a sailmaker and transitioned into owning his own exterior shutter company. After many years of trying for biological children, they heard and answered the unique calling of adoption. In 2012, Joe and Erin welcomed home James Payne Baber. Joe’s  greatest joy was instilling the values of faith, family, and service into his son.

Joe had a passion for connecting with people.  In the grocery store, he would never hesitate to reach out and ask how he might know someone that looked familiar.  If it turned out they didn’t know each other, at the end of a 30-45 minute conversation, they felt like they knew him for years.  He had a group of veterans he would meet up with at Walmart on Saturdays during grocery shopping.

Joe lived his life in service of others. It meant not only loving God, but fulfilling the 2nd Greatest Commandment of loving his neighbor by responding to their needs.  He loved people unconditionally, but not without pursuing an understanding of each person as an individual.

Joe was a man that poured his soul and body into his relationships and commitments. He loved serving Good Shepherd in many ways, as a verger, acolyte trainer, mentoring youth on their confirmation journey, on vestry or simply making good food for the people he loved.

Joe was larger than life, he changed the tone of a room with the devious gleam in his eye, a welcoming smile that made you feel at home in an instant, or a joke/story that would never seem to end.

He wrote in his first letter to his pen pal,

“Remember,

There is no problem in life so big that a little laughter can’t cut it down to a size where you can talk to it.”

Joe is a light upon a hill to so many.  His laugh is still  a dance between playful vexation and infectious triumph. As we hold fast to our memories of Joe, may we all be drawn closer to each other and ultimately to Jesus, our Good Shepherd.

Please leave condolences and share memories on this website.

20 Thoughts on Baber, Joe Payne
    Al Perales
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Erin, JK and Angela. Words cannot express my sincere condolences and sorrow at hearing of Joe’s passing. Please know that all of you are on my prayers.

    Megan&Travis
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Angela, we’re so sorry for this incredible loss. You are in our thoughts during this very difficult time.

    Charlotte Lawler Robertson
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Erin, Jimmy, Angela,and JK,
    My heart breaks for you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers every day.

    Kelley Kidd
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    “Shine your light and make a positive impact on the world; there is nothing so honorable as helping improve the lives of others.”
    ― Roy T. Bennett
    When I think of Joe, that is what I think of. Even as a kid, I remember him full of laughter and humor. He had this way of seeing the fun in everything, even as a teenager. I will always remember the countless hours laughing. My love to Angela and JK is never ending. I never got to know Erin or sweet Jimmy, but I will keep you in my prayers always. I know Joe is watching over you and is your guardian angel.

    Todd Pappas
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    I tell my children often during prayer time that the relationships we have are ordained by God for us to give and receive His love. That was Joe to a T. I am so blessed to have known him and his family and I am broken hearted at his loss. My deepest condolences Erin and Jimmy, JK and Angela. You are all in my prayers

    Jason Clayton
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Joe

    You will be so missed by so many people. We all love you and will miss you very much. God speed my friend.

    Jason

    Don Richeson
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I pray nightly that God may bring comfort to you and your family. Joe sounds like a Great man in all respects. I did not know Joe, how unfortunate for me.

    Lamar DeuPree Richardson
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Everyone that ever crossed paths with Joe was blessed, without a doubt and became a better person with his infectious love, humor and kindness. The world is a lesser place without him, but what we can do, is take a trait you learned from Joe and practice it. This way, Joe lives on because of what he taught us. Apply his love and kindness to everyone and the strangers you meet in life. Do something nice for someone you’ve never met, make them feel like they matter and are important, for they are a child of GOD. Joe taught us so many things that we can practice… this way Joe will live on, through us. I thank GOD for having the honor of having known him, and I believe GOD taught us things through Joe. My heart and prayers go out to Jimmy, Erin, JK, Angela… and anybody that knew what a gift to the world this man was.

    A Soldiers Farewell to a Sailor: May You Have Fair Winds and Following Seas.

    Lamar DeuPree Richardson
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Everyone that ever crossed paths with Joe was blessed, without a doubt and became a better person with his infectious love, humor and kindness. The world is a lesser place without him, but what we can do, is take a trait you learned from Joe and practice it. This way, Joe lives on because of what he taught us. Apply his love and kindness to everyone and the strangers you meet in life. Do something nice for someone you’ve never met, make them feel like they matter and are important, for they are a child of GOD. Joe taught us so many things that we can practice… this way Joe will live on, through us. I thank GOD for having the honor of having known him, and I believe GOD taught us things through Joe. My heart and prayers go out to Jimmy, Erin, JK, Angela… and anybody that knew what a gift to the world this man was.

    A Soldiers Farewell to a Sailor: May You Have Fair Winds and Following Seas.

    Heather Lehman
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Erin, our hearts are with you and we will be praying for the days ahead. We are so very sorry.

    Deana Costa
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    I am so sorry for your loss of Joe. Praying for you and your family.

    Jean Casey
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Erin, Jimmy, JK and Angela: Joe’s smile and presence has blessed us and all he touched. We are praying that you may feel his presence and find comfort.

    Seth Rowney
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    I’ll miss chatting with you Joe, you were a good man and I’m glad to have known you. Prayers for Erin and the family, may peace be with you in this trying time

    Tricia Hartman
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    J.K. and Angela, I am so sorry about everything that has happened. Please know that you are in our prayers. Erin and Jimmy, I have never met you but I have grown to admire you through everything that has happened. Please know that we are praying for you.

    Brian Gutmann
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Joe,

    Heaven must be better now because there’s a void left here on earth with your passing. Lord, you got a good one…will miss that smile. Rest In Peace brother.

    Brian

    Ruth Cothes
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    So sorry for your loss. I didn’t knoe Joe, but I know he was a fine man. Peave and comfort to all of you. I saw the service on U Tube. It was very touching and special.

    Lenore (Lennie) Frodsham
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    We send heartfelt sadness for Joe’s passing. We’ve only known for a short while of his illness, and we were surprised that he had passed away. He was such a sweet and adorable young man. We remember him how we knew him: young, full of life and energy, a great boy to have in the neighborhood and a wonderful friend. Your whole family is special. We look forward to meeting him again with a perfect body and health, eternally. We are grateful for his and your faith in God and Jesus Christ, who give us strength to face these trials. We send love, from all the Frodshams.

    Jan Smith
    13 Oct 2022
    10:40am

    Joe was a bright light in this world. I have known him since his birth and he has always been that way. He and Angela grew up with my children in the early years and I will never forget Joe surrounded by my daughters and his sister in my living room. The girls decided to dress Joe up in the appropriate ballerina attire including a tutu and Joe just stood there twitch that silly grin that he was known for. Joe became my unofficial adopted son. Even though we moved to Colorado I always saw him when we traveled to Dallas. The bond was always there, and years later when he fell in love and married Erin, they came to our house and stayed with us briefly on their honeymoon. Joe’s grin is shining down us us now as we do things that he would laugh about. God definitely sent that young man to brighten up our lives. We already miss you so much, but we will meet again. Jan Smith

    Jennifer Snider
    13 Oct 2022
    10:41am

    Erin, please know I am crying right now. I just saw this. I hope you will contact me as soon as possible. I have not heard from you guys in a long time. I love you and James. Please contact me. I love you

    Jennifer Snider
    13 Oct 2022
    10:41am

    Erin, I just saw this. Nobody did not tell me. Please contact me.
    I need to hear from me. I need to hear from you. I am crying. Contact me, please. I love you guys. Talk to me. I miss you and James. I emailed Angela. Please contact me. Love Always,
    Jennifer

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Dear John,

It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Tha you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you.

Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad.

Love, The Gillilands

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