Hall of Fame inductee Colbert ‘Bud’ Baker passes away at 91
Colbert Latimer “Bud” Baker, Jr., a 2013 Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame inductee and prominent businessman, passed away March 3 at his Margo Island, Florida home. He was 91.
Mr. Baker was born April 14, 1925, the son of Colbert Latimer Baker and Martha Lois Brunt. He distinguished himself in his business, military service and his outstanding contributions to the Chickasaw Nation.
A University of Oklahoma graduate, Mr. Baker exemplified the Chickasaw entrepreneurship spirit.
In 1979, he founded Chickasaw Distributors, Inc. Recognized as an American Indian company, the entity specializes in tubular goods and drill pipe distributed exclusively to Shell Oil Co.’s Gulf region. Today, the company generates over $200 million in annual sales.
Governor Bill Anoatubby said Colbert Baker epitomized the Chickasaw spirit.
“Colbert Baker epitomized both the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the community that have been part of Chickasaw culture for hundreds of years,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “He leaves a legacy of successful Chickasaws who have seized the opportunities created by his generosity and dedication to service.
“He understood that true success is measured by the positive impact one has on others, and he lived up to that ideal.”
Mr. Baker served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He served aboard the USS Los Angeles and USS Toledo. He rose to the rank of lieutenant and was decorated for his wartime service. He is featured this month in the 2017 Chickasaw Nation Calendar.
Through generous donations to the Chickasaw Foundation, Mr. Baker helped many Chickasaw students fulfill educational dreams and improve their lives.
In 2000, the Colbert “Bud” Baker Scholarship was established through the Chickasaw Foundation. Mr. Baker was honored for his philanthropy in 2003 and 2004 when he received the “Outstanding Philanthropist” award presented by the Chickasaw Nation.
Mr. Baker was involved in the community, offering leadership and guidance to leaders of civic and business organizations.
He served as president of a number of organizations including the Dallas North Texas Rotary Club, University of Oklahoma Alumni Club and the Car and Truck Leasing Association of Texas. He served as executive secretary of the National Truck Leasing System Dallas Executive Association, the Sales and Marketing Executives of Dallas and Executive International.
Interment was in Chandler, Oklahoma, Cemetery.