The citizens of Urbana and Champaign County may wish to note two recent deaths. Daniel Baker, former Band Director at Urbana High School, has died. The calling hours for Dan will be at the Schoedinger Funeral Home Worthington Chapel from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. The Chapel is located at 6699 North High Street in Worthington, Ohio. Masonic and Military Services will follow at 3 p.m. Dan was 94.
Dan was a much-beloved band director in Urbana. He later had important positions in the Worthington and Columbus area. He was one of a long list of Urbana Band Directors from The Ohio State University.
All were members of the Ohio State University Marching Band. The research is incomplete, but UHS Band Director Don Gilbert is best known for having written the school ‘Fight on Urbana” song. That song is unique to Urbana, and is not sung by any other school. Dan Baker would have followed, and he was followed by Bob Martin, who continued the OSU marching tradition. Bob was succeeded by his pupil, Robb Hildreth, who has continued his teaching elsewhere. Although he was not a director, Urbana resident Carol Long was also a member of the OSU Marching Band, and has been credited with writing the “Alma Mater” for Urbana.
The second person to be remembered is Ralph Ramey Jr.
Ralph also was a graduate of The Ohio State University, and a member of the OSU Marching Band.
He began his treks to “Cedar Swamp” while still a student at Bexley High School in Columbus. Ralph became known throughout Ohio as a naturalist, historian, and writer of many books concerning hiking trails. His greatest efforts were devoted to Cedar Bog, working constantly for funding and improvements, and accessibility for the general public to the Bog. He and his wife, Jean, moved in his later years to the Seattle, Washington, area, to be close to family members.
He died recently, and funeral visitation and service were conducted on Saturday, May 11 at the Schoedinger Midtown
Chapel in Columbus, Ohio. Ramey was 90.
Both Dan Baker and Ralph Ramey performed with the TBDBITL Alumni Club Active Band until they were unable to attend, as did Bob Martin.
Jan Ebert is a retired music educator in Champaign County.