Roderick F. Baker Jr., a long-time resident of Joliet and Naperville, served his country as a pilot in the U.S. Marines. After being discharged as a captain, Rod learned the automobile trade at various dealerships before buying his own Ford franchise. He opened Rod Baker Ford on Sept. 30, 1963 in the heart of Plainfield.
Rod’s wife Olga worked alongside her husband nearly every day, starting a trend of family involvement that continues today, including the Bakers’ grandchildren Roderick F. Baker IV (Ricky) and Christina Baker.
“When they opened the dealership my dad (Roderick F. ‘Rick’ Baker III), an only child, was only 10 years old, and with both parents at the store that is where he spent most of his time after school,” Christina said. “He would help out wherever he could, doing things like sweeping the floors in the shop.“Its not hard to see my dad’s passion for the business and the brand, so it wasn't surprising that he eventually took the business over in 1991, around the time they started building a new building on Rte. 30,” Christina said.
Rod Baker Jr. passed away in 1994 at the age of 74, when Ricky was 10 and Christina was 5. Olga remained involved with the dealership as long as she could, and passed away in 2004.
Christina Baker believes the business has survived for half a century because of her family’s strong will, passion and perseverance, even through hard times.
“My grandpa was determined on treating people fairly and living up to our motto, ‘Home of the No Hassle Deal,’” Christina said. “That’s something that has stuck in our hearts and goals for the business.
“Working with family isn't always easy,” Christina Baker said with a chuckle. “But at the end of the day work is work and family is everything, and we will always be there for each other.”
Rod Baker Ford | 16101 S Lincoln Highway, Plainfield, IL 60586 | 815.436.5681