Rollin Lynn Baker was born May 7, 1927 in Narrows, Oregon (Harney County) to Emil and Lorena Baker. He was the youngest of eight children in a Pioneer family and lost his mother at age 13. After spending his formative years working on ranches in Harney County with his father, he opted for a cowboy lifestyle when he left high school his junior year.
On July 4, 1948, Rollin married LaDonna Jean Huff and moved to the Whitehorse Ranch to be a buckaroo boss. He was never in the military because he was on a cattle drive and couldn’t be contacted. Rollin managed four ranches in Oregon; The Island, Roaring Springs, White Horse, and Hudspeth. He also managed The Lakeshore Ranch in California and D-W Land and Cattle outside of Boise, Idaho. While the ranch manager of Hudspeth Ranches, Rollin had the idea to create a dam to form what is now the Grindstone Reservoir on the current GI Ranch. He and rancher Kit Berger deserve the credit for that now famous fishing lake.
His daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were the joy of his life. Rollin was a voracious reader, but enjoyed his horses, dogs, and cattle. He crossbredcattle to produce the best beef for the consumer and sold to Albertson’s. He bred saddle horses to get what he wanted to work cattle and he bred working cattle dogs.
There have been a number of articles written about Rollin’s lifestyle. He was a dying breed. He was the first personality profile featured in Prineville Territory Magazine, is featured in the book “Tough N Tender” by Jack E. Miller, he was the 2010 Paulina Rodeo Old Timer, and was awarded spurs from USDA Forest Service for the way he ran his cattle allotment on a forest service permit, and a plaque award from Trout Unlimited for restoring Bear Valley Creek in Idaho.
Rollin, surrounded by his family at his home in Prineville, OR, went to be with the Lord on July 1st. He was 90 years old and leaves behind his wife LaDonna and daughters, Cheryl (Gary) Ervin and Debra (Jim) Hoffman. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, BreAnn Ervin (Dax) Borgaard, Jacob (Brandee) Hoffman, Garet (Alicia) Ervin, Rollin (Caroline) Ervin, Jacey (Bill) Brown, and six great grandchildren as well as nieces, nephews and extended family.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 15 at 1:00 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church. The family would like to thank Dr. Carey Allen; caregivers, LeeAnn Paul, Karen Riddle, and Linda Sharp; The Calvary Baptist Church of Prineville and Prineville Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to Bowman Museum.