R.I.P. Purple Man

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It’s a sad time for Purple Man fans. The southwest Akron icon who, for almost three decades, waved to rush-hour passers-by in full purple regalia died Friday. He was 94.

Many people probably caught a glimpse of Earl Baker waving from the front yard of his purple-trimmed home and wondered—Why?—before tucking the odd experience into the far reaches of available memory. But the why is worth telling.

After his wife passed on in 1981, Baker was asked to mentor a local Masonic girls group with a requirement: everyone had to wear something purple to meetings. Starting with just a pair of purple suspenders, Baker went on to take the purple edict very seriously. Soon, he wore purple everything everywhere he went.

The Beacon Journal has more on Purple Man’s life and times, may he rest in peace.

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