Dr. David Stanford Baker II

May 14, 2018

CHARLOTTE – Dr. David Stanford Baker II died Monday, May 14 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-Mathé, 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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  • Michael Craig

    Betsy, David III and Baker family...

    We are sad to hear of David II’s passing. We remember first meeting y’all when we were members of Barclay Downs neighborhood swim club and of course at church.

    David’s smile lit up a room. The picture of both David’s last week is priceless. He will be greatly missed in many venues.

    God Bless you all.

  • Tachi Dellinger

    David was a gentle, unwavering light in the world. His smile and positive attitude brought joy to a Habitat or Costa Rica worksite. The world has lost a champion for others, but his words and actions inspire others to do the same. It is a ripple effect that makes his actions live on in others. He made a difference every day. Prayers are lifted for Betsy and their family.

  • Bert & Trudy Lampley

    Our heartbreak is deep for you. David has always been unselfish with his friendship and devotion to others. Our joint founding of the Genesis Class 40 years ago cemented our never-ending love for both of you. David showed us all that living in God's Light was a life worth living. We celebrate with you David's life of giving and loving you and family.

  • Bill Truitt

    This is so unfair for such a good person to be struck down like this. Dr. Baker restored my wife's ability to hold a fishing rod, for which we are grateful. He always had a cheerful expression at the Dowd YMCA and young David[son] was a delight to be around, too.

  • Mark Kremers

    Betsy: I am so saddened to read about David’s passing. It was a great privilege for me to know you and David. I was also fortunate to be a direct benefactor of David’s skills when I fractured my 5th metacarpal. He was a wonderful person and physician and had a positive impact on many lives. I know the void he leaves is unfillable but I hope the esteem in which I and many others hold you both will be some small attenuation to your grief. Sincerely Mark Kremers

  • Julian M. Aldridge, Jr.

    To have been in the company of David Baker one knew he or she had been in the presence of an authentic Christian disciple. Everyone who was privileged to know him found a blessing in his eagerness to share his gifts and grace with others. "Well done, good and faithful servant." To Betsy and his children: I am traveling on Friday and unable to celebrate David's life at Myers Park. I will be with you in thought and prayer.

  • Paula Pendergrass Allen

    What fun times we shared in Jr High and High School. I am so blessed we got to reconnect at our 40th reunion. I will never forget how you helped Sherry Sharp and myself that Saturday getting things ready. I will always remember your gentle smile and warm heart. I will miss seeing you at our 50th reunion. You are now reunited with your wonderful parents and are a bright light shining down on us. Many prayers for your family as they continue to love and miss you. I am a better person having shared a friendship with you. Fly high my friend????

  • John Drawbaugh

    Whether it was in the Sunday school class at Myers Park, checking on our daughter after knee surgery or giving a referral for which doctor to use for hip replacement surgery, David was always kind and friendly. The world was a better place because he shared his skills and love with his friends and patients. Our condolences go out to his beautiful family.

  • Debbie Sidbury

    Betsy, My heart goes out to you and your family as you mourn David's passing. I pray for your strength and comfort during these difficult days. I have such fond memories of both of you during our days at Exercise Plus.

  • Ron Bryson

    Betsy and Family,

    Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you! No longer attending MPUMC I had no idea of David's challenge with Cancer. Aside from putting my wrist back together twice and demonstrating through these procedures his commitment to his higher calling, he walked where few people do today and set an example most of is just hope to come as close to as possible. Words cannot adequately console the loss you must feel but the life he lived and the way he touched others certainly are forever enduring memories. God Bless!