[Photo courtesy of Spanish Valley Mortuary]

David K. Baker, 93, passed away peacefully at his home in Moab, Utah, with his family by his side on April 5, 2018. He was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, on November 3, 1924, as the first child to John David and Edith Van Cleave Baker. He married Shirley Burdick on November 26, 1945, in Grand Junction. To this union were born three sons, Gary, Ed and Stan. He is survived by his two sons, Ed (Sally) Baker of Parachute, Colorado and Stan (Chris) Baker of Moab; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and five sisters, Barbara Drapeau of Denver; Evlyn Williams of Macon, Missouri; Helen Baysinger of Craig, Colorado; Reba Baysinger of Milliken, Colorado; and Dorothy Thiele of Sterling, Colorado; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Shirley; his son Gary David; two brothers, Bart and Dewey; one sister, Arleen Whitbeck; and daughter-in-law Mary O’Neal Baker.

Dave was raised on a homesteaded ranch on Conn Creek, north of De Beque, Colorado. He, his two sisters and younger brother rode horseback five miles to the Conn Creek School through 8th grade and later moved closer to De Beque during the school year to attend high school. At a youthful age, he worked for neighbors cutting and putting up hay, herding cattle and horses. He was proud of his horsemanship and family tradition of raising and breaking horses.

Dave played and lettered in basketball and baseball at De Beque High School and met the love of his life, Shirley Burdick. They married in 1945 and Shirley and Dave lived on the former Watley Ranch (now known as the High Lonesome Ranch) at Kimball Creek, near De Beque. Dave was a cowboy and ranch hand. They lived there, until 1949, before moving with their new 2-year-old son, Gary to Moab, to work for Shirley’s sister and brother-in-law, Verda and D.A. Swanny Kerby, in the rodeo business.

During the early 1950s, Dave worked at the Skakel Ranch, just west of Moab and helping survey new roads in the Moab area with the Bureau of Public Roads. Like many others at the time, he got involved with the uranium boom, hoping to get rich staking and promoting mining claims. Ed was born and added to the family in 1950 and Stan was born in 1956. When the uranium mill started, he worked there for nine years processing uranium. Later, he worked various jobs until he found the ideal job for him, working as a maintenance man with the National Park Service. He started out in 1966 building viewpoint decks for the three natural bridges at Natural Bridges National Monument. A couple of years later, he took the maintenance position at Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park and later transferred to Arches National Park, where he retired in 1990. He enjoyed working outdoors, meeting tourists and sharing his knowledge of the area. Following retirement, he and Shirley traveled, visiting and taking care of family and friends. He was proud of his yard and the “Best Garden in Moab.”

Services will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the St. Francis Episcopal Church, 250 W. Kane Creek Blvd., in Moab. A viewing will be held on Friday, April 13, 2018, between 6 and 8 p.m. at Spanish Valley Mortuary in Moab. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to a charity of choice.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.