BAKER, COLONEL (RET). DAVID J., USAF, 66, of Louisville, formerly of San Antonio, TX died August 1, 2012 of melanoma while on vacation in Florida.
Born in Pittsfield, MA, Dave pursued his first career in the US Air Force
and served in various executive posts both in Germany and USAF base hospitals as a medical service corps officer. After his retirement from the Air Force, Dave joined Humana Inc. as a Regional Executive Director of Humana Military Healthcare Services. In 2000, Dave was promoted to president and CEO of Humana Military Healthcare Services and served in this position until his retirement in January 2012. Dave held an MBA from the University of Florida
and completed his undergraduate studies at University of Maryland as well as programs at the Air War College, Air Command and Staff College and the Squadron Officers School.
Dave was known by all who served and worked with him as a humble and inspiring leader. Dave possessed quiet and steady resolve in dealing with difficult and challenging leadership situations; for example, he coordinated the recovery mission after the Challenger disaster in 1986 while serving as Administrator at the Patrick Air Force Base
military hospital in Florida. Dave was a key member of the Humana Military executive team and helped lead the implementation of the Humana Military Healthcare Services DOD contract in 1996 that today serves over three million military retirees and family member beneficiaries in the South and Southeast United States.
Dave was a member of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, The Military Officers Association of America, and was on the Board of Directors of the Frazier History Museum in Louisville. Dave's hobbies were visiting family, reading, playing tennis, and traveling. Dave told friends that he and his wife had the "trip of a lifetime" when they recently went on a European river cruise.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Colonel (Ret.) Wesley H. Baker, USAF, and mother, Thelma.
Dave is survived by his wife, Connie, of Louisville; daughter, Laura Rymes and husband William and his two grandchildren, Sydney and William (Quint) of Frederick, MD; sister, Susan Tarpley and husband, Ray of Kingsport, TN; and nieces Treva Tarpley and Elizabeth Corpstein, Kingsport; nephew, Anderson Tarpley, Nashville, TN and several grand nieces and nephews . Extended family members include Diane Baker, Niceville, FL; Jill and Scott Doyle, Minden, NV; Charles and Doris Steinman and Scott and Lynn Clark, Lancaster, PA; and Tara and Matthew Lightner, Denton, MD.
The family will hold a memorial service at St Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, Louisville, on Friday, August 17 at 3 p.m.. The interment service will be held on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 1p.m. at Randolph AFB Chapel 1 with burial at the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery, where his parents are buried.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Dave's name to the Wounded Warriors Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org
or mail to P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, Kansas 66675), the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (529 S. Jackson St. Suite 200, Louisville, KY 40202), or the Bayfront Medical Center Health Foundation (701 Sixth St. South St Petersburg, FL 33701). To send condolences please visit http://www.sunsetfuneralhomesa.com/