Michael T. Baker, 49, volunteered with nonprofit to limit feral cats in Gloucester City

Michael T. Baker
Michael T. Baker
Posted: May 24, 2014

For the last three years, Michael T. Baker tried to help rid Gloucester City of feral cats.

"He was one of our trappers. He was such a good kitten catcher," his wife, Doran, said in a phone interview.

Mr. Baker was a member of Feral Treasures, for which his wife is secretary.

The local nonprofit organization promotes the reduction of wild cat populations through a policy of trapping, neutering, and releasing.

On Sunday, May 18, Mr. Baker, 49, of Gloucester City, a 20-year employee of Lockheed Martin Corp. in Moorestown, died of lung cancer at Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice Inpatient Center in Mount Holly.

In the summer of 2013, his wife said, the heat limited the time that members could devote to catching cats.

"We lost a lot of time," last year, she said, but still caught 80 to 90 adult cats, which were neutered.

But also, she said, "we did 89 kittens, which we socialized and adopted out."

The adult feral cats are released after being neutered, she said, because "we can't tame them down" enough for adoption.

Mr. Baker, the son of a career Navy veteran, spent nine years in the Navy, his wife said.

From 1984 to 1993, he was a fire control technician on three destroyers, which were deployed in locations ranging from Japan to the Mediterranean.

During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, he was on the cruiser Princeton in the Persian Gulf, his wife said.

Mr. Baker returned to begin a 20-year career in 1994 with the Moorestown plant of Lockheed Martin.

While there, his wife said, he earned an associate's degree at Gloucester County College and was working toward a bachelor's degree at Rutgers Camden.

He worked an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at Lockheed as a senior technical analyst, she said, and then went off to his daytime classes.

Carrying a 4.0 grade point average, she said, "he was amazing."

Besides his wife, Mr. Baker is survived by parents Troy and Judith Baker, son Brandon, and two brothers.

A viewing was set from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 25, at the McCann-Healey Funeral Home, 851 Monmouth St., Gloucester City, before a 2 p.m. funeral service there. Interment is to be private.

Donations may be sent to Mike's Cats, Box 358, Gloucester City, N.J. 08030.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mccannhealey.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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