Keith (Forrester) Baker

Keith (Forrester) Baker

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
Keith R. Baker formerly Forrester
Born 1950s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private brother (1940s - unknown)] [half] and [private brother (1940s - 2010s)]
Descendants descendants
Father of [private daughter (1970s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1970s - unknown)]
Account confirmed 25 Sep 2011 | Keith's 26735 contributions | 753 thank-yous received
Profile last modified | Created 25 Sep 2011 | Last significant change: 16 Nov 2018
14:48: Keith (Forrester) Baker edited the Biography for Keith (Forrester) Baker. [Thank Keith for this]
This page has been accessed 11,997 times.
Wiki Genealogist September 2018 Club 100 Generous Genealogist - Blue Star Leader Emeritus Generous Genealogist - Red Star WikiTree Profile of the Week Pre-1700 Honor Code Signatory G2G6 Family Star Super Star Community Star DNA Tested
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Categories: Y-DNA Haplogroup I | Y-DNA Haplogroup I-M223 | MtDNA Haplogroup J | United States Naval Academy | United States Navy | Chicago, Illinois | Lake County, Illinois | McHenry County, Illinois | Kenosha County, Wisconsin | Texas County, Missouri | Lake County, Montana | Mac Interest Group.

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
Joan Pernoud - 4th Cousin
Claudia Curington - 2nd Cousin
Sue Kartheiser - 2nd Cousin
William A. Lindsay - 22nd Cousin

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

Barbara Cooper - 2nd Cousin
Pat Pine - 1st Cousin {LNAB is actually Zimmerman}
Terri Kraft - 1st Cousin
Maria Feldgreber - 1st Cousin
Irene Perkins - 2nd Cousin
Brian Oman - 2nd Cousin
Linda 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, a gas station and a boat marina during High School years. (1960 Census = Ingleside Township, Lake County, Illinois)
  • Late 1960's through 1970's: USNA then U of I; marriage to Leni Ferenc; employment at Alexander & Alexander, Inc. (Actuarial Div.) then Baxter/Travenol Laboratories (concurrent with Sears P-T Sales). Purchase 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. 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 and left 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 legal Name Change. Thus, the two sons Marie Zimmerman bore 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 with 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.



  • Keith Baker, first person knowledge. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Keith and others.
  1. Entered by Keith Baker, Oct 23, 2011 and later.

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Keith Baker's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Keith or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Keith:

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On 26 Oct 2017 at 16:07 GMT Janet (Langridge) Wild wrote:

Hi Keith,

Hope you are well. Just dropped by to say thank you for your contributions to the community's shared tree. Every contribution is appreciated you are doing a wonderful job of support others. You obviously love what you do Thank you


Member of the Wikitree Appreciation Team

On 26 Apr 2016 at 13:18 GMT Summer (Binkley) Orman wrote:

Thank you Keith! I appreciate your kind words. Lots more to do in blog land, too!

On 22 Oct 2015 at 22:42 GMT Kim (McElvenny) Paterson wrote:

Hi Keith,

I have merged Maxine Roach and added her husband, Ralph Jarboe

Thank you again,

On 6 Aug 2015 at 13:17 GMT William Lindsay wrote:

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,



On 2 Jun 2015 at 15:35 GMT Nae (Lockhart) X wrote:


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!


On 6 Mar 2015 at 01:17 GMT Carolyn (Atkinson) Martin wrote:

Thanks for the Family Star badge and your kind comments.

On 26 Nov 2014 at 17:48 GMT Doug Lockwood wrote:

Thank you Keith for the kind words about my wife's 3x great uncle Richard Somers.

On 22 Nov 2014 at 20:59 GMT Mary Richardson wrote:

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

On 9 Nov 2014 at 05:21 GMT David Wilson wrote:

Who'd a thunk? Keith and David are 8th cousins twice removed via


* David *

On 14 Oct 2014 at 13:36 GMT Kitty (Cooper) Smith wrote:

I don't know My mom was Barbara (Smith) Cooper, but I don't seem to be related to Barbara Kurrack.

more comments

Queen Victoria Keith is 17 degrees from George Bush, 21 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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