Col. David G. Baker, U.S. Army, retired, passed away early Sunday morning, March 10, 2013, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., after a brief battle with cancer. He was 75 years old.
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He was a highly decorated Army officer with numerous medals and commendations for his service to our country, among them the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. He proudly served on active duty for nearly 28 years before retiring in 1987. Due to his outstanding performance and below-the-zone promotions, he was promoted to colonel on the 20th anniversary of his commissioning as a second lieutenant.
Col. Baker was active at St. Simon's on the Sound Episcopal Church for many years, serving the Lord in numerous capacities. He began the church's Verger Ministry, served on the Vestry, taught Education for Ministry (EFM), and organized and cooked for the men's monthly breakfasts.
A native of New Orleans, La., he received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Tulane University as a distinguished military graduate. He went on to receive an MBA from Louisiana State University and post-graduate degrees or certificates from the Army Command and General Staff College, the University of Texas, Syracuse University, the Professional Military Comptroller's School, and the U.S. Naval War College. Late in his career, he received a professional financial planning certification from George Washington University and became a Certified Financial Planner.
His hobbies included stamp collecting and model railroading. He was a member of the Model Train Club of Shalimar and the Fort Walton Yacht Club.
Col. Baker was first and foremost a Christian, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Carol W. Baker; his sister, Dorothy B. Stephenson; children, David Jr. and wife Mary Beth of Louisville, Ky., Stephen and partner Gavin Kennedy of Boston, Mass., Elizabeth Baker and husband Jeffrey Wills of Charlottesville, Va.; and seven grandchildren, Nicholas Hettich and wife Kim, Katherine Elise Baker, 1st Lt. Lauren Hettich, U.S.A.F., David TJ Baker, James Wills, Aaron Wills and Elizabeth Wills. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his memory to either the
There will be a visitation from 5 to 7 p.m., on Friday, March 15, 2013, at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home in Niceville, Fla., with funeral services on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at noon, at the St. Simon's on the Sound Episcopal Church in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. You may offer the family condolences and sign a guest book at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from Mar. 14 to Mar. 15, 2013