Silas "Sy" Baker, Jr.

Obituary of Silas "Sy" K. Baker, Jr.

Silas “Sy” K. Baker, Jr., age 89, died April 3, 2024, at home and surrounded by loving family. Mr. Baker was a long-serving Launch Conductor and Director of the Atlas Centaur Program at the Cape.

After service in the Strategic Air Command and as a pilot and Captain in the USAF, Sy came to Brevard County in 1964. He served as a Board Member of the Brevard County School Board, Board Member and Vice Chairman of the Florida Space Authority, Board Member of Space Florida, and Board Member of Attitudes in Reverse. His recognitions included the Aviation Week & Space Technology Laurels Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Space, The 33rd Space Congress Achievement Award, Lockheed Martin’s NOVA Award for Leadership, Lockheed Martin Astronautics Manager of the Year Award, and the National Space Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Baker was born in Portland, Maine in 1934. He graduated from Chelmsford High School, Massachusetts, where he is installed in the Hall of Fame. Sy earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from Boston University and an MBA from Rollins College in Winter Park. He was an Eagle Scout and a registered Professional Engineer.

He was preceded in death by his parents Silas K. and Helen E. Baker, his son Silas Rod Baker, two Grandsons Kenneth Silas Baker and Aaron Silas Baker and his two sisters Nancy B. Hadley and Elizabeth McQuiston.

He is survived by his wife Frances “Fran” M. Baker, Rockledge, FL; sons Kurtis Silas Baker (Patricia S.), Plainsboro, NJ; and Barry Kenneth Baker (Tamela M.), Melbourne, FL, as well as three grandchildren: Katelyn Marie Baker, Hannah June Baker, and Abigail Marie Baker. In addition, Sy is survived by three stepchildren: Stephanie P. Cotterill (Steven), Charles Town, WV; Mary K. Burns, Malibu, CA; and John P. Burns, III (Elizabeth C.), Charles Town, WV and five step-grandchildren: Ellie Porter and Lucy Porter Cotterill, John Porter Burns, IV, Helena Grace Burns and Locke Wilson Burns.

Sy sought to live in the strength of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and simplicity of Henry David Thoreau. A lifelong champion of God, Country and Family, his retirement provided time to publish the Baker family’s ca. 400-year American history in “Descendants of William Baker, Jr. (d. Concord, MA, 1702).”

Most of all he enjoyed the companionship of his wife, children and grandchildren at every opportunity. Sy was an active member of Suntree United Methodist Church.

The family greatly appreciates the several months of compassionate support and assistance provided by St. Francis Reflections during Sy’s hospice care.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, April 20, 2:00 PM at Suntree United Methodist Church, Melbourne, FL, with a reception following the service.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to A.I.R. (online at or by check to PO Box 3127, Princeton, NJ 08543-3127), a positive national campaign to start the conversation about good mental health, suicide prevention and anti-bullying.

Share Your Memory of
Silas "Sy"