Maryborough brothers Greg and Anthony Baker with their children.
Maryborough brothers Greg and Anthony Baker with their children.

Heartbroken family loses two sons to suicide 11 months apart

They were two brothers who shared the same dark hair, cheeky smiles, a deep love for their families and a wicked sense of humour.

Anthony and Greg Baker were fathers, brothers and sons who would do anything for their families or to help a mate in need.

But both Maryborough men were lost to suicide, with just 11 months and 15 days separating their deaths.

Anthony, 25, died last year, while Greg, 35, took his life last week.

Their family, including mum Vicki Juster and sister Corryn Larsen, has been left reeling after the loss of their beloved sons and brothers.

"I'll never be the same again," Vicki said.

The Maryborough community is in mourning, with the loss of Greg, a popular footy player who was well known in the sporting community, sparking an outpouring of grief.

For Vicki, the loss of her beloved sons is more than just one family's tragedy - it's a call to arms.

She wants to get loud about suicide and mental health struggles - especially those faced by men, many of whom struggle to reach out.

Greg, father of Lachlan, Maddison and Cooper, had battled with depression for years before his death.

He had been left devastated by the loss of a friend in a car crash when he was 17 and then again when Anthony died.

In November, he proudly grew a moustache and raised awareness and $500 to try to help those experiencing the same struggles he and Anthony had faced.

Greg spoke to others about the mental health battles they were facing, never letting on that he was struggling as well.

His pain was hidden in part by a personality that seemed born to bring joy to others.

Corryn said her brother was an "absolute clown".

"He was the funniest person I've ever met in my life," she said.

"He was inappropriately hilarious, most of his jokes you would not tell to a sensitive crowd."

He was "insanely protective" of his family and "super loyal", Corryn said.

Maryborough brothers Greg and Anthony Baker both lost their lives to suicide.
Maryborough brothers Greg and Anthony Baker both lost their lives to suicide.

But on the other hand he could be shy and socially anxious until he got to know someone, she said.

Once he did, he was never forgotten by them, with Greg known for making a lasting impression.

As well as playing for Maryborough Brothers, he had coached his son, who played for Maryborough Wallaroos, and he became close with players from both clubs.

When he lost Anthony last year, it broke his heart, Corryn said.

The two men, who have three sisters, including Mariah and Lauren in addition to Corryn, had grown extremely close before Anthony passed.

Greg had been one of the pallbearers at Anthony's funeral, carrying his brother on his final journey.

Vicki remembers him promising to her that day that she would never lose him that way.

But less than a year later, Greg lost his battle with depression.

Vicki wants suicide to be a subject that is talked about openly, starting conversations that could help save lives.

"I don't want suicide to be pushed under the mat, there's too much of it happening," she said.

"You hear if someone has a car accident or falls off a cliff - what about suicide?"

Vicki fears Greg was too focused on the pain others experienced after losing Anthony to deal with his own loss.

"He was worried about how all us were coping and forgot to worry about himself," she said.

Corryn agreed, saying Greg cared for other people deeply.

He appeared to be a happy guy who was there to help everyone else, but in reality was struggling himself, she said.

The family cherished their memories of the two men who could make anyone laugh.

"They were such beautiful souls," Corryn said.

"They had the best hearts of any men you could ever ask for."

Do you need help?

Lifeline 13 11 14

headspace 1800 650 890

beyondblue 1300 224 636

Suicide callback service 1300 659 467

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