Walter Baker Edmisten

Walter Baker Edmisten, 74, of Boone, N.C., passed away Friday, June 12, 2020.

Baker Edmisten grew up in the mountains of North Carolina in Watauga County in Boone. He was the son of Walter and Nellie Mae Edmisten and lived on the family farm in Perkinsville.

He had a career in law enforcement for 35 years, first as an Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent with the federal government, then the chief investigator for the National Forest Service. In 1994 Baker was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Marshal for the Western District of North Carolina, the office he held until 2002.

Anyone who knows Baker will recognize the truth in the refrain from an old poem Let me live by the side of the road and be a friend to man.

Bakers joy in life was his family and helping others. He did more good for people many of whom had never met before. He checked up on people. He kept up with folks and noticed who was in need and what they needed, and he went out of his way to get it. He delivered food and assistance, almost always unsolicited. Stories of Bakers good deeds are now legendary.

He greatly enjoyed fishing the mountain streams and rivers in the Rocky Mountains with his son Scott. He also spent many days on Wheeler Dam with his nephew Ed. The annual community plant sale for the Democratic Party was a big event for him each year. It was very special to him and he worked tirelessly for it. In 2018 he was inducted into the Watauga Democratic Hall of Fame. You could always find him with his faithful companion Bandit as he went about his day. Baker was a member of Perkinsville Baptist Church.

One of his greatest joys in life was cooking in his basement kitchen. He learned these skills from his mom growing up on the farm. He was widely known for his jams, jellies, sausage, relishes, meals and famous barbecue sauce Pig Whiz. Many folks were recipients of these cherished gifts.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dian; daughter, Lisa Lauria and husband, Chris; son, Scott and wife Michele; grandchildren, Ryan Lauria and wife, Sydney and Christina Lauria; brothers, Joe and wife, Patricia and Rufus and wife, Linda; ,sisters in law Claudeen Edmisten and Alice Edmisten. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and other family members that loved their Uncle Baker dearly.

He was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Nellie Mae Edmisten; his brothers, David Edmisten and Paul Edmisten; and sister, Betty Church and husband, Dick.

Services for Baker will be conducted Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Perkinsville Baptist Church. The Rev. Seth Norris and the Rev. Harold Bennett will officiate.


In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the hospitality house of Northwest North Carolina at 338 Brook Hollow Rd., Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared with the Edmisten family at the website

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Edmisten family.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.