Leonard J. “Lennie” Baker, age 69, peacefully passed away on Wednesday, February 24th at South Shore Hospital.
Lennie was born on April 18, 1946, in Brockton the son of the late Leslie H. Baker and Lillian (Walo) Baker. He grew up in Whitman, MA and was a 1963 graduate of Whitman-Hanson High School. During his years at Whitman-Hanson he played saxophone in the school band. He was also the manager of the basketball and football teams. He was also a member of Paul Wayne and the Wantells. After high school he attended Northeastern University and was a member of the band The Pilgrims. While at Northeastern he joined the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.
Lennie was most notably known for being a vocalist and saxophone player in the band Sha Na Na. He joined Sha Na Na in 1970 and remained with the band until his retirement at the beginning of 2000. While a member of Sha Na Na he toured the world, performing in live shows and appeared on the Sha Na Na television show with them. He was also in the movie Grease, singing lead on the song, Blue Moon.
Lennie always loved to be near the water. He resided in West Tisbury and Oak Bluff on Martha’s Vineyard Island. Later he moved to Halifax, MA and lived on East Lake - Monponsett.
In 2002 Lennie underwent a kidney transplant at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, receiving the kidney from his nephew David.
During his retirement years Lennie continued to play the sax and sing with the local band, The Spellbinders.
Lennie was a people person. He had many friends and truly enjoyed time spent with all of them. His generosity was abundant. He was always willing to share all he had with friends and family. Lennie also adored the 3 Jack Russel Terriers that he raised over the years, Lucy, Tessa and Jill.
Lennie is survived by his three loyal brothers: Lee Baker, Sr. and his wife Marcia of Hanson, MA, Leon Baker of Whitman, MA, and Larry Baker and his wife Paula of Hanover, MA; 4 adoring and loving nephews and niece; Lee Baker, Jr. and his wife Nancy of Burke, VA, David Baker of Hanson, MA, Cathy-Ann Tilley and her husband James of Lynn, MA and Christopher Baker and his wife Melanie of Norfolk, MA; and nine great nephews and nieces.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend, his visitation on Monday February 29th from 4:00-8:00PM in the Blanchard Funeral Chapel, Plymouth St (Rte 58 at the rotary circle) Whitman. Funeral services will be on Tuesday March 1st, at 10:00AM. Burial will follow in the Colebrook Cemetery, Whitman. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brigham and Women’s Hospital through Lennie’s nephew David’s 2016 Boston Marathon page at https://www.crowdrise.com/LifeGivingBreakthroughsBoston2016/fundraiser/davbak or by sending a check with “David Baker” on the memo to:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Development Office
2016 Boston Marathon Program
116 Huntington Ave, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02116