William David Baker of Oldsmar, FL passed away peacefully at home on May 31, 2021, with his loving family at his side.
Dave was dearly loved by Barbara, his wife of over 55 years, his daughters Suzanne (Clearwater, FL) and Jill (Churchville, NY) and granddaughters, Mallory and Lindsey. He also leaves behind brothers Jon (Elaine) of Olean, NY and Jerry (Ellen) of Lady Lakes, FL, as well as many special nieces and nephews.
Born on December 25, 1937, in Olean, NY to Basil and Marie Baker, Dave enlisted in the Navy in 1955. While serving on the USS Cromwell as an electronics technician, Dave developed a life-long interest in engineering. He earned degrees including an AAS SUNY Alfred (1961), BS Monmouth University (1969), MS Rochester Institute of Technology (1972) and doctoral studies West Virginia University (1980).
Dave worked for Bell Telephone Laboratories in NJ from 1961–69. It was there he met the love of his life, Barbara and began their family. Dave was offered a faculty position with SUNY Alfred (NY) which started his teaching career. While completing his doctoral studies at WVU, Dave accepted an administrative position at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as the Director of the School of Engineering Technology.
An active member in professional engineering societies, Dave received many prestigious awards from the American Board of Engineering Technology (ABET; an accreditation organization) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is a recipient of the McGraw Award for Excellence in Engineering Technology Education. One of Dave’s greatest joys was meeting foreign faculty and students, while traveling globally for ABET accreditation activities.
After retiring from RIT, Dave joined the faculty advisory committee at Excelsior College in Albany, NY. Dave truly loved his work and giving back to others through education—it was his calling and avocation.
Although spending most of his life in NY, Dave and his family has enjoyed living in Tennessee and Florida. He was a genuine mentor, role model and friend to many and will be greatly missed.
Dave’s remains will be interned at Arlington National Cemetery and the family will hold a memorial service at some later date.
The family would appreciate donations to be sent to the Parkinson’s Support Group of the Finger Lakes, PSGFL, P.O. Box 131, Canandaigua, NY 14424, or Suncoast Hospice Foundation, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760. Please indicate “In Memory of W. David Baker.”
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