David Perry Baker, born December 26, 1933 passed away Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Jane Underwood Baker of the home; a son, Mark David Baker (Kasey) Berryville, AR; and a daughter, Laura Ann Pennick (Jay), Wichita, KS. He leaves behind grandsons, Tyler Pennick, Jakob; and granddaughter, Mequilla Baker. He also is survived by his sister, Margie Baker Steil, Lawrence; and sister-in-law, Sarah Underwood Black, Atlanta, GA; many nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leon F. Baker and Inez Carey Baker and his older sister, Jane Baker Wilson.
As a child growing up, he loved the summers spent at his grandmother’s cottage on New England Sound. He treasured his freshman year in high school at Suffield Academy before his family moved to Topeka in 1948. He finished his high school years in Topeka, then this Connecticut Yankee became a Jayhawker enrolling in Kansas University where he became a proud member of Pi Kappa Alpha. After graduating from K.U. he joined First National Bank of Topeka as a teller. He spent over sixty years in the financial arena, in Topeka, Hutchinson, Wichita and most recently as Vice President of the Bank of Eureka Springs, AR. He and his wife retired here in Lawrence in 2013. Dave was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who enjoyed the times spent with his family especially this past February while celebrating and early 60th wedding anniversary with them on a Caribbean Cruise.
He was an active civic leader in the communities where he lived, serving on the United Way, Chamber, American Cancer Society and many other organizations.
He almost accomplished 50 years of perfect attendance as an active Rotarian. He served as President three times, chairman of many committees and participated in many conferences. He was selected Rotary District Governor 6110 in 1999 – 2000 which covered 77 clubs in parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.
His passion since 1986 has been the Eradication of Polio Worldwide. He wanted that to happen in his lifetime. He attended many International Rotary conventions and was looking forward to this years’ in Atlanta, Georgia. He had nearly 50 years’ perfect attendance. He received the 4 Avenues of Service Award, the Foundation Award and the International Commitment Award. He believed and lived the Rotary Motto “Service Above Self”. Dave was a Paul Harris Fellow, member of the Bequest Society and Benefactor. He loved reading to kids in the Elementary School and working with youth related programs.
He enjoyed sports as a younger man, loved the Dodgers from his childhood growing up on the east coast and always cheering on his beloved Jayhawks! He loved to play golf and spend time with his friends. He was a member of the Shrine, Scottish Rite and Masons.
Private family services will be held at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. A Celebration will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at David & Jane’s home, 1728 Carmel Drive, Lawrence, KS 66047 for friends and family.
Memorial contributions may be made directed to the “Rotary PolioPlus Program” Worldwide Eradication and be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044 or by giving a needy child a helping hand.
Online condolences may be posted at warrenmcelwain.com.