Keith (Forrester) Baker
Privacy Level: Public (Green)

Keith Richard (Forrester) Baker (1950 - 2020)

Keith Richard Baker formerly Forrester
Born in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of [private wife (1950s - unknown)]
Descendants descendants
Father of [private daughter (1970s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1970s - unknown)]
Died at age 69 in Montana, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Sep 2011
This page has been accessed 15,211 times.
In Memoriam: Keith (Forrester) Baker was an active and generous member of WikiTree. Their presence in our community will be missed. However, their many contributions will live on as part of our shared family tree. This is a gift they gave to family members, distant cousins, and future generations, and is now a permanent part of their legacy.
Keith was featured in a Meet Our Members Post on the WikiTree Blog!


Genealogical Interests

Presently working to expand biographical information and documentation of ancestors in several family lines, notably of English, Irish, German, Luxembourgish and Scottish heritage - also attempting to help others do the same. Adding to the WikiTree effort of building a free, readily available, world-wide family tree.

Family Lines Being Researched include:

Able, Blythe, Braden, Braun, Brausch, Cavey, Cealey, Cline, Edwards, Elliot, Forrester, Frieders, Frisch, Haley, Hawkins, Hopkins, Hudson, Hunt, Jenkins, Johnson, Kartheiser, Knecht, McCampbell, McSweeney, Murphy, Newton, Roberts, Sherwood, Tessmann, Terry, Tracy, Weatherford, West, Weydert, Welter, Wolf, Zimmerman(n), and others.

Cousins on WikiTree

Living cousins found via WikiTree connection and unaware of previously include (in the order of contact):

Chris Whitten - 19th Cousin
Frank Kartheiser - 2nd Cousin
Robert Jenkins - 4th Cousin
Alan E. Weydert - 3rd Cousin
Marianne Case - 4th Cousin
Tim Roberts - 2nd Cousin
Tom Roberts - 2nd Cousin
Todd Roberts - 2nd Cousin
Kitty Smith - 19th Cousin
Don H. Downing - 6th Cousin
David Wilson - 8th Cousin
Mary Ann Hamilton - 4th Cousin
Margaret L. Cline - 4th Cousin
Phillip Sublett - 6th Cousin
Joyce (Able) Schroth - 3rd Cousin
Vicki Norman - 16th Cousin
Julianne Tracey - 3rd Cousin
Sean McSweeney - 3rd Cousin
Gary Elkins - 4th Cousin
Debby Black - 15th Cousin
Carolyn Martin - 6th Cousin
Dr. Steve Haley - 4th Cousin
Pauline Reuland - 4th Cousin
M.E. Fletcher - 4th Cousin
Myriam Hilger - 10th Cousin
Summer Orman - 19th Cousin
Dr. Joan Pernoud - 3rd Cousin
Claudia Curington - 2nd Cousin
Sue Kartheiser - 2nd Cousin
Janice (Miller) Robertson - 4th Cousin
William A. Lindsay - 22nd Cousin
Holly Longdo - 5th Cousin
Paula J - 10th Cousin
Tanya Johnson - 4th Cousin

Living Cousins having WikiTree Profiles and whom I know or have known personally include:

Barbara Kurrack Cooper - 2nd Cousin
Pat Zimmerman Pine - 1st Cousin
Terri Zimmerman Kraft - 1st Cousin
Maria Zimmerman Feldgreber - 1st Cousin
Irene Oman Perkins - 2nd Cousin
Brian Oman - 2nd Cousin
Linda Zimmerman Hedlund - 1st Cousin
Timothy Zimmerman - 1st Cousin

Non-living cousins include:

Darrell Oman - 2nd Cousin
Rick Zimmerman - 1st Cousin
Greg Zimmerman - 1st Cousin
Jeff Zimmerman - 1st Cousin
Dr. Bill LaBach - 6th Cousin


  • Early 1950's: Started life in the North side neighborhoods of Chicago in close proximity to extended family including many first cousins.
  • Late 1950's to late 1960's: Moved to Ingleside, Illinois (but having a McHenry, IL mailing address) and there attended primary and secondary schools, participated in local baseball, football, track and scouting activities as well as spending free time camping, hunting, trapping and fishing with his brother, Darrell Forrester Baker. Worked at a Chinese Restaurant (the Waltonian), a gas station(B & G Standard Service), and a boat marina (Mineola) during High School years. (1960 Census = Ingleside Township, Lake County, Illinois)
  • Late 1960's through 1970's: USNA then U of I; married Leni Ferenc; employment at Alexander & Alexander, Inc. (Actuarial Div.) then Baxter/Travenol Laboratories (concurrent with Sears P-T Sales). Purchased first home in Lake Villa, IL. Birth of children: Tracy Plaiss and Meghan Zimmerman. Attended University of Wisconsin-Madison and Milwaukee-School of Business. Entered Insurance Industry as Agent for New England Life in Chicago, then at Major Hill Insurance Agency in Fox Lake, IL. Began writing freelance outdoors column titled, Baker's Fields. (1970 Census = LeMoyne Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) (1980 Census = Lake Villa Township, Lake County, Illinois)
  • 1980's: Purchased 2nd home (Lindenhurst, IL) and began working for General Casualty Insurance Companies as Field Sales Manager. Joined US Naval Reserve Component at NAS Glenview. Built 3rd home/business (Lindal Cedar Homes) in Wheatland Township, Kenosha Co., WI with a Burlington mailing address. Started into Genealogical research which became a lifelong passion. (1990 Census = 381st Avenue, Wheatland Township, Kenosha County)
  • 1990's: Moved from Wisconsin to Montana, leaving the Insurance Career behind. Became an EMT and local Fire Fighting volunteer; increased religious activities, including preaching in Evangelical congregations. Returned to Wisconsin in 1995 (following the birth of first grandchild, Leo). Had first heart attack 1996. Moved to southern Missouri in 1998 and co-founded an intentional community known as the Simple Gifts Community. Underwent first heart bypass graft surgery December 1999. (2000 Census = Elk Creek, Texas County, Missouri ~or~ Batavia, Kane County, Illinois)
  • 2000's: Returned to Illinois in May 2000 as house parents (a.k.a. Family Teachers) at Mooseheart Child City and School in the Fox River Valley between Batavia and Aurora. Started marketing Garlic Head BBQ Sauces. Returned to Montana in mid-decade, bringing with two foster sons.
  • 2010's:Remained in Lake County, Montana (2010 Census = Glover Road, Polson). Joined WikiTree in September of 2011. Underwent second heart bypass graft surgery September 2012. Sold BBQ Sauce business and Glover Road property and moved to a Ronan, Montana address.
  • 2015 Started writing and publishing non-fiction and historical fiction books.


Keith is the second son of the union of Jack Forrester and Marie Zimmerman. Jack Forrester's first son, Craig W. Forrester, was by his first wife, Marian Hogan.

Keith's original Birth Certificate reads 'Randall Richard Forrester'. Though the family never called him by the name nor referred to him as Randall, his Birth Certificate was not amended to 'Keith Richard Forrester' until several years after his birth. Marie and Jack divorced during his infancy; he had no relationship with his natural father.

Marie (mom) married Donald Lee Baker in December of 1956, and the family moved to Ingleside, Illinois at the very end of that year. Mom instructed her sons to use the surname Baker at school. Two years later, she had affidavits sworn attesting to the use of this Legal Alias (as it is called) before a Notary Public. There never was a formal adoption nor other legal Name Change. Thus, the two sons of Marie Zimmerman and Jack Forrester are Forresters (as are their offspring) - Baker is merely an alias. [A side note to this is the legal fact that, anyone, at any time can assume and use an alias - so long as it does NOT involve illegal purpose.]

Keith graduated from Grant Community High School, Fox Lake, IL. At age 17, he was appointed to and attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD briefly - he resigned his commission in his plebe year. He then attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in the Mathematics Honors Program and as an Edmund James Scholar (All University Honors Program); later attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and at Milwaukee in their Business Program. [Many years later he received the Certified Insurance Counselor Degree from the College of Certified Insurance Counselors at Austin, TX.]

Mathematics, the Sciences and English came easily for Keith and he was able to use these abilities in his employment pursuits. He was hired as an Actuarial Assistant by Alexander & Alexander, Inc.'s Actuarial Division when he was 19, and married Leni J. Ferenc later that year. His next job was with Baxter Laboratories, where he was hired as a production assistant in their Round Lake, IL facility and through rapid promotion to Group Leader, Assistant Foreman, Foreman, Supervisor and Production and Material Control Scheduler became familiar with many aspects of manufacturing management as well as several very proprietary chemical and biological formulations and processes.

At age 25, Keith was somewhat bored with his prospects at Baxter Laboratories and, upon being offered a promotion to Production Manager, decided to leave that career path and enter the Insurance industry - which he did within the year. At that time, he was unaware that both his maternal Grandmother and Grandfather had been Insurance Agents.

While continuing his full-time work in the insurance industry, he enlisted in the US Navy Reserves (after an incredible amount of red-tape due to his earlier having been at Annapolis) and over the next 6 six years served as an Aviation Electronics Technician with NAS Adak Combat Augmentation Unit and with VP-60 during which time he earned the designation Air Warfare Specialist and was included in the award of the "Golden Wrench", (officially known as the Battle 'E' medal) while a member of the AIMD of that Squadron. Keith spent time at NAS Adak, NAS Glenview during active duty and ACDUTRA assignments as well as some TDY assignments to other units and locations during his years in the Naval Reserves.

Keith's interest in electronics (and some gadgets) was piqued by the advent of the personal (home/desktop) computer, especially when the FidoNet (forerunner to the Internet) came about. Being enamored with these phenomena, he began exploring their uses and applications in business settings and in the home. Both the IBM computers and the Apple computers intrigued him; he early on became a devotee of the Apple Macintosh platform (owning among the first of those machines ever sold and upon which platform this biography is being composed) remaining so to the present time.

When he and Leni returned to Wisconsin in 1995, he set up a small business partnership with his son-in-law, Leo Zimmerman. Known as "Chorebusters", they offered their services in remodeling, construction and handyman work in Southeastern Wisconsin for several years. They had a good following of regular customers and were modestly successful in the endeavor. It was during these years that Keith suffered his first heart attack. (December 1996) He then made plans to set up an intentional community which was culminated in the founding of the Simple Gifts Commmunity in the Missouri Ozarks in 1998. This was founded upon anabaptist religious theology and practice which emphasized equality, sharing and peaceful existence via the agricultural production and menial pursuits of the most mundane tasks of living.

The expense and recovery brought about by Keith's quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery late in 1999 ended the Baker's time with Simple Gifts. 5 months after the operation, Leni and Keith became Family Teachers to 9 teen-aged boys at Mooseheart - a residential treatment campus in Northeastern Illinois. (Batavia) There they thrived and strived for 4 years while nuturing, teaching and parenting those youngsters who came from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds. When they decided to return to Montana in the second half of 2004, the Bakers invited two of the brothers from the group home to join them as foster sons - an offer they readily accepted.

Those years at Mooseheart were demanding and tough in some ways, but were rewarding enough that we would not exchange them for anything.

The return to Montana was a gateway event to many changes for our family. Eldest daughter Tracy, with her husband Patrick and their two children, Elise and Caitlyn, followed 4 months later and all of us had Polson, Montana addresses. Grandma Leni was delighted to have a daughter and two granddaughters close by and all of us were overjoyed with our surroundings.

Currently enjoying a retired lifestyle as a writer of non-fiction and historical fiction books, and doing a little bit of basic pistol teaching as a Certified NRA Firearms Instructor.

Longshot in Missouri (Cover photo)


In the event of my demise, please turn all of my profiles over to my closest WikiTree relative who is willing to manage them, or to any Leader if that is not possible. Please make all of my profiles as open as possible and appropriate including my own. Thank you, Forrester-158, May 29, 2016.



  1. Entered by Keith Baker, Oct 23, 2011 and later.

Is Keith your relative? Please don't go away!
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Comments: 148

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Saw your cool vintage VP-60 patch you posted. .you don't have one you'd be willing to sell to do you?
posted by Scott Mason
Hello Scott,

Keith passed away a few years ago.

Cheers, Abby

posted by Abby (Brown) Glann
Rest in peace, friend. You will be missed and I feel blessed to have been able to call you friend, and for our opportunity to "meet" via WikiTree.
posted by Abby (Brown) Glann
Hi Keith,

We haven’t heard back from you concerning the Scottish Clans Transition. If we haven’t received a response from you by 30 March 2020, you will be welcome to rejoin by answering the current g2g thread for joining the Scotland Project.

Best Regards,

Sarah Mason, Scotland PC

posted by Sarah Mason
Good morning Sarah,

My name is Tracy Baker Plaiss. I am Keith's elder daughter. I am sorry to say that Keith passed away in February this year. While I understand that the deadline you had given for him to respond has passed, he would not have let it go unnoticed, and I did not want you to think you were being ignored.


Tracy Plaiss

posted by Tracy (Baker) Plaiss

My name is Amy and I’m a co-Leader of the Scotland Project. As you may have heard, we have merged the Scottish Clans project into the Scotland Project. I am contacting you today to find out if you are interested in continuing with us under this new format. If you would like to go forward on the Scottish Clans Team, please reply and let me know which clans you have been working on or would like to work on. I see you have previously expressed an interest in Clan Munro and Clan Forrester. Would you like me to add you to those teams?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Amy Gilpin, Scotland Project Co-Leader

posted by Amy (Crawford) Gilpin
Thank you Keith! I appreciate your kind words. Lots more to do in blog land, too!
posted by Summer (Binkley) Orman
Hi Keith,

I have found on the Relationship Finder that we are 20th Cousins 1x removed.

I live in north east Scotland.

Great to find the connection.

Best wishes,



posted by William Lindsay

Just wanted to give you a shout out on a great, well written answer. It was absolutely outstanding! No reply necessary, but keep up the great work!


posted by [Living Lockhart]
Thanks for the Family Star badge and your kind comments.
Thank you Keith for the kind words about my wife's 3x great uncle Richard Somers.
posted by Doug Lockwood
Hi Keith This week's topic for profile of the week is Family Heroes. Do you have a recommendation for a good one from your ancestors to nominate, or want nominated? Thanks Mary Richardson
posted by Mary Richardson
Who'd a thunk? Keith and David are 8th cousins twice removed via


* David *

posted by David Wilson
I don't know My mom was Barbara (Smith) Cooper, but I don't seem to be related to Barbara Kurrack.
posted by Kitty (Cooper) Smith
Keith and Kitty are 19th cousins
posted by Kitty (Cooper) Smith

Rejected matches › Keith BakerKeith BakerKeith BakerKeith R. Baker

Featured German connections: Keith is 22 degrees from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 25 degrees from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 24 degrees from Lucas Cranach, 24 degrees from Stefanie Graf, 25 degrees from Wilhelm Grimm, 23 degrees from Fanny Hensel, 25 degrees from Theodor Heuss, 16 degrees from Alexander Mack, 35 degrees from Carl Miele, 20 degrees from Nathan Rothschild and 23 degrees from Ferdinand von Zeppelin on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.