When Harold Eugene Baker, a 91-year-old veteran, is laid to rest this week, dozens of people will attend his funeral.
He didn’t know a single one of them.
Baker, you see, left behind no loved ones. He didn’t even have any estranged family members.
So, the Chapel of the Valley Funeral Home in Grants Pass, Oregon, decided it needed to do something.
No one — and certainly not someone who served his country during WWII — should have to leave the world unremembered.
Baker died of natural causes late last month. When the funeral home published his obituary, it invited the public to attend.
“Harold Eugene “Gene” Baker 91, a Grants Pass resident passed away on September 22, 2016. Gene was born August 25, 1925 in Ojai, California to Frank and Fay Baker. Gene served honorably in the US Navy during WWII. Gene will be laid to rest with military honors at Eagle Point National Cemetery on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 2pm. Gene has no family to attend his service. We would like to invite the public to attend and show their support for this veteran.”
The response: Call after after call from people, promising they’d come.
A nearby city, Medford, will honor him.
And veteran service organizations, Old Guard Riders and The Missing in America Project, will attend.
“He would have been tickled and would be having a laugh,” Leila Bradish, a pre-planning adviser at the funeral home, told CNN. “He was a very funny, humble guy.”