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Congratulations to Baker

Leroy Baker, manager for the Lunenburg Airport, is the recipient of the 2019 Aviation Director’s award. The annual award is given to those who have made remarkable contributions to airports throughout the commonwealth.

He has been the Lunenburg Airport Manager since 2012. As a volunteer, he maintains the airport lawn, hauls trash, removes any potential debris from the runway, oversees the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) located at the airport, which monitors weather conditions and is a friendly face and a source of guidance when pilots, families and youth piloting programs arrive at the airport.

Baker’s award will be presented at a later date. “Leroy has spent his life giving back to his country and a community,” Andrew Crider, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Aviation, said. “He has done a fantastic job at Lunenburg County Airport and the Department of Aviation is proud to recognize him for his service.”

Baker certainly fits the bill for someone who is dedicated, who is conscientious, careful and knowledgeable with all aspects of operations of the airport and who loves to teach as much as he loves to learn.

He thanked the county and the department for their support.

“I want to keep doing the best thing that I can every day, for as long as I can,” Baker said.

We at The Dispatch commend Lunenburg County for nominating Baker for the award as one of numerous ways that they show appreciation and recognize the importance of his role.

“Mr. Baker is a lifelong public servant, retiring after 30 years in the VA Army National Guard, where he worked on tanks as a mechanic and trained combat dogs,” county administration cited in the nomination letter for Baker. “(He) celebrated his 82nd birthday on May 25, has been married to Shirley Baker since 1979 and loves his two step-daughters as if they were his.”

In addition to receiving the award, Baker will also be able to operate a new mower. Lunenburg County and the Virginia Department of Aviation have partnered for the department to purchase a new mower for the airport.

Baker said his priority is helping others.

“I care about people. I work hard,” Baker said in an interview. “I do what I do, not for congratulations and stuff like that, I do it for myself. I’m happy with it, you know? The award’s coming along, that’s good too. That doesn’t hurt a bit.”

That is a remarkable way to live and one to strive to emulate.

The Dispatch joins the voices of Lunenburg County administration and the Virginia Department of Aviation in saying Baker is more than deserving of this prestigious award. We wish him the absolute best in his future, and we hope that he will see to the fullest extent his impact in the county and how much he is appreciated.