Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas) honored the life of Mayor Ray Baker in a statement submitted to the Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.

The following are the submitted remarks:

Mr. President, I rise today to honor the life of C. Ray Baker, a devoted champion of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Ray Baker was a lifelong cheerleader of Fort Smith, proving his love for the community through serving its citizens for 20 years as Mayor.

Dedicating countless hours volunteering for civic service organizations, he brought an unmatched, contagious energy to ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, awards ceremonies and special community events. His commitment to Fort Smith inspired the “Ray Baker Lifetime Achievement Award.”

He shared his enthusiasm for the community with the generations of students he taught over his 46 years as an educator. His legacy is far reaching beyond the halls of Southside High School where he taught for 44 years.

He received numerous awards and commendations for his years in the classroom including being named Arkansas PTA Teacher of the Year, a Milken Family National Educator, Arkansas Teacher of the Year and Daughters of the American Revolution National American History Teacher of the Year.

Ray is a true American hero who not only taught what it means to participate in the government, but also showed his students and the citizens by the example he set.

Ray Baker’s legacy will live on for future generations to experience the projects he supported encouraged to the lives he touched in the classroom and civic outings all across the region.

His energetic spirit has given us all strength, and we are fortunate to have had his leadership. During the opportunities I had to share the stage with Mayor Baker, I often had to follow his passionate and enthusiastic addresses. I would joke with the audience that I needed to spend a few days with the Mayor so I could learn how to become as animated as he was.

We all came to know and say his famous words he would recite after his speeches and proclamations, “Life’s worth living in Fort Smith, Arkansas.” I am confident this will always be a motto for the community, and thanks to Ray Baker’s determination, perseverance and dedication, he certainly made Fort Smith a place worth living.

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