BAKER--Dewitt Clinton III.
July 31, 1924 - February 13, 2017. A life well-lived. Husband, father, grandfather, friend, innovative publisher and mentor, DeWitt "Bud" Baker was a true child of the 20th Century. Born in New Rochelle, NY into a family with Puritan and Huguenot roots, an SAR, and a Son of Confederate Veterans, Bud excelled in academics and sports at Bronxville High School. Bud went to Dartmouth and later joined the U.S. Navy's V-12 program at the college. As an Ensign and then Lieutenant on the Destroyer Escort U.S.S. Levy, he fought in the Pacific during WWll before returning to finish his education at Dartmouth and receiving an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business. Bud married Marybob Willson and lived in Larchmont and Mamaroneck, NY until her death in 1981. Stricken with polio in 1956, she and Bud raised their two sons, Scott and Todd, amidst a loving and supportive community of friends. He was a heroic father and husband for those 26 years. In 1983, Bud married Judith Welling, a colleague who shared his passions and interests, and the two lived an exciting and fulfilling life of business, world travel and culture, making many friends along the way. Bud was a deeply loved and loving father to Judith's children, Amy, Damon, and Joanna. Bud was in the publishing business for over 45 years starting in sales at Affiliated Publishers and Simon & Schuster. He was President of Golden Books, Western Publishing. He went to Random House as EVP and CFO and later was President of Baker & Taylor, and then E.P. Dutton. Bud worked for RR Donnelley and later started a number of small businesses. He was a founder of the Book Industry Study Group, publishing's leading think tank for innovation. Bud was a mentor to scores of young publishing people. Bud was a calm, handsome, principled man who lived an active life; an avid skier, hiker, sailor, gardener, handyman and dancer. He served his community as a School Board member and as a director of several charitable organizations. His politics migrated over the years from Rockefeller Republican to staunch Democrat (which means they never really changed at all) but at heart he believed in doing what was right for everyone. In addition to his wife, Judith, and his five children, Bud is survived by his children's spouses, Jenise, Diane, Bill, Colleen and Rob, his niece Deb and family, and his ten beloved grandchildren Nicholas, Vivian, Carson, Brigit, Rose, Max, Amanda, Henry, Clint, and Ava, who were the light of his life. There will be a celebration of his life later this spring. The family suggests contributions in lieu of flowers to Doctors Without Borders, People for the American Way, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Outdoors for All Foundation.
Published in New York Times on Feb. 16, 2017.