David Stanford Baker M.D. (1950 - 2018)

Obituary
  • "I became Dr. Baker's patient, I was a lifetime patient of..."
    - Boyd Huneycutt, Jr.
  • "I met David when I interviewed him for the Guardian ad..."
    - Rhonda McGuire
  • "I did not know him well, but when I think about him and his..."
    - Timothy Kearns
  • "David led an exemplary Christian life. Despite amazing..."
    - Rick Poe
  • "I practiced Anesthesiology at Presbyterian /Orthopedic..."
    - Thomas Benton

Dr. David Stanford Baker II died Monday, May 14, 2018 at home in Charlotte. David was born in Little Rock, AR on October 27, 1950 and never left his affection for his home state behind. He graduated from Hall High School in 1968 and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in December 1971, just days before he married Betsy Bolen in Charlotte, NC. Newlywed, they returned to the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in Little Rock, where David earned his MD in 1976. David interned at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, KY, then completed his residency in Orthopedics at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. He was awarded fellowship at the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center in Louisville, KY, after which he returned to Charlotte. He joined the Gaul Orthopedic Group in 1981, where he practiced hand surgery for 32 years as the group evolved into OrthoCarolina. He became a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. His best reward was seeing his patients succeed. We often heard, "It's thanks to Dr. Baker I have use of my hands."

David devoted himself to family and community life. He was at his best as a loving husband and father, faithfully cheering over the crowd, win or lose. He led scout trips and family adventures to share his love of nature and the renewal that comes with time outside. He helped with homework projects and read bedtime stories, enthusiastic and ready to model the discipline needed to achieve excellence. He trained his golden retrievers with a gentle hand and was rewarded with their faithful companionship. At Myers Park United Methodist, his church home for 40 years, David found comfort and insight and the opportunity to serve in myriad ways.

After retiring in 2014, David pursued his lifelong commitment to social justice, practicing his Eagle Scout's habit of looking for how he could leave a place better than he found it. He participated in Dismantling Racism seminars, volunteered to benefit children as a Guardian ad Litem and reading buddy, and brought his well-organized tool kit to build homes, communities and hope with Habitat for Humanity. He showed up for family and friends with strong arms and perpetual optimism, whether his task was to pack a U-Haul without an inch to spare, plant a garden or cheer a dreary hospital stay. His support for the people he loved never wavered.

During his treatment for cancer, he faced mortality with courage and faith. He would remind those of us who survive him of Jesus' words: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. David is preceded in death by his parents David and Alice Dean Baker and in-laws John and Calla Bolen. He is survived by his beloved wife of 46 years, Betsy Bolen Baker, his three children Elizabeth Mizelle, Elaine Hall (Clint Hall) and David Baker III (Kate Baker), and grandchildren Calla, Martin, Philip and Daniel, his sister Alice Lynn Greenwood-Mathe, and many treasured family and friends.

A celebration of life will be held Friday, May 18 at 2:00 p.m. at Myers Park Methodist Church in Charlotte. The family will receive friends in Jubilee Hall following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Habitat for Humanity, Charlotte, 3815 Latrobe Drive, Charlotte, NC 28211.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

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Published in Charlotte Observer on May 16, 2018