Partner Yonemitsu Arashiro

Queer Places:
1224 Clifford St, Flint, MI
Yone SF Beads of San Francisco, 478 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Japanese Cemetery Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA

Hermon Jenkins Baker (April 10, 1923 - August 9, 2020) was a former theater set and lighting designer. In 1953 Yonemitsu Arashiro opened Yone SF, a bead store (originally called Sueko, after his sister), in North Beach, San Francisco. Arashiro and his partner since 1956, Hermon Baker, who conceived and built the shop's interior, lived upstairs above the shop, becoming neighborhood fixtures and befriending the likes of Ruth Asawa, Imogen Cunningham and Janice Joplin.

Hermon Jenkins Baker was born in Flint, MI on April 10, 1923. After graduating from St. Matthews Catholic High School, he attended Simpson College in Windsor, Ontario. In 1943 he was inducted into the U.S. Army and trained at Camp Wolters near Mineral Wells, TX. He was sent overseas in May of 1944 and was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division just after the D-Day landing at Utah Beach. After the liberation of Paris in August the company continued their pursuit of the Germans north through France and Belgium. In November Hermon was injured during the bloody battle of the Hürtgen Forest for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. After a year of recuperation in Great Britain and at the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY, Hermon attended the University of Michigan under the G.I. Bill. He earned a Bachelor of Design degree from the School of Architecture and Design in 1950 then spent time on Savary Island in British Columbia, Mexico City and Monterey, CA before settling in San Francisco.

Hermon and his lifelong partner Yone Arashiro opened Yone, the renowned bead and antiquities shop in the late 1950s in North Beach. They welcomed anyone that needed a place to feel free to express their creativity and became known as the "gentlemen bead sellers". Over the years their friends and associates included the artists Ruth Asawa, Imogen Cunningham, Morris Graves and Janis Joplin.

Hermon's wide ranging interests included literature, classical music, fine arts, architecture, world history, religion and philosophy. Yone eventually closed its doors in 2015 and became an online presence in 2019. Hermon was preceded in death by his partner Yone Arashiro. Baker died peacefully on August 9, 2020 at the age of 97. Hermon's ashes were interred in the Arashiro family plot located at the Japanese Cemetery in Colma, CA.

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