Thanks R.J. for all you've done

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

R.J. Baker spent more than a decade spearheading economic development in Cherokee as the executive director of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation before moving on to take a similar position in the Norfolk, Neb. area.

On Aug. 11, 2014, R.J. Baker passed away following a six-year battle with cancer.

Among his proudest accomplishments in Cherokee was the establishment of the Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival. R.J. was a lover of music, particularly of Jazz. He inspired an event that combines education and venues for amateur, as well as professional musicians.

A less visionary person would have picked a time that has less potential for brutal weather than mid-January but R.J. understood that Cherokee and this entire region needs some celebration that breaks us loose from the post-holiday winter blahs and the Jazz and Blues Festival certainly does that.

R.J. would have been thrilled with how his legacy was carried on this past Friday and Saturday with top-notch musicians and enthusiastic fans.

R.J.'s wife Beth and three of her children, Adam, Aaron and Chad, made it to a tribute to R.J. at the Copper Cup on Friday.

It was a well deserved tribute to R.J. and to his family.

May your legacy continue.