Bob Baker of Sisters, Oregon passed away at his Rimrock Ranch home on December 7th.
Born Robert Burton Baker in Duncanville, TX, Bob attended Duncanville High and graduated from East Texas State University. Following graduation, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps before attending Tulane University School of Law. Upon receiving his J.D. in 1964, Bob served as Series Commander, Recruit Depot San Diego before deploying to Iwakuni, Japan as a Judge Advocate. While in Asia, he made USMC Major before resigning and moving his family to Juneau, Alaska in 1969.
Over the next 30 years, Bob built a successful aviation defense practice in Alaska. He was a Senior Partner with Robertson, Monagle, the state's oldest firm, opening their Anchorage office in 1974. A noted litigator, he argued before the state Supreme Court and was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers.
In 1988, Bob purchased Rimrock and moved there full time in 2001, joining his wife, who was overseeing a small herd of Red Angus cattle on the property. Over the next ten years the Bakers developed a productive cow-calf operation, investing in breeding bulls and becoming Red Angus co-operators. A highlight each year was socializing with other breeders and consigning a heifer to the "Bet on Red" Sale in Reno, NV. When he wasn't tending cattle, Bob enjoyed keeping bees, clearing brush and raising heritage birds. He was passionate about land conservation and watershed restoration, dedicating time and resources to both. He served on the board of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, worked to restore fish habitat and a steelhead run in Whychus Creek, and secured a conservation easement on his property from the Deschutes Land Trust. A voracious reader and book lover, he was past President of the Friends of the Sisters Library. Bob's happiest times were family campouts in the canyon along Whychus Creek, trading stories around the campfire, and amazing all with his fearless culinary skills.
Bob is survived by his wife, Gayle, of Sisters, OR; sister, Marilynn Taylor of Granbury, TX; daughter, Bridget Baker Cerny of Los Angeles, CA; sons, Miles Baker of Anchorage, and Brett Baker of Beverly Hills, CA; first wife and mother of his children, Mary Pignalberi of Anchorage; and grandchildren, Becket, Britt and Rhett Cerny. Please join family and friends for a remembrance January 18, 2014, 11:00a.m., at Rimrock Ranch, 18400 Wilt Road, Sisters.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2014