Robert M. “Bob” Baker died of natural causes on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Mariposa. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday.
Bob was born on Oct. 17, 1929, and raised in Southern California. He moved to Mariposa with his wife, Sally, over three decades ago. Sally passed away in 1999 and Bob has resided in Mariposa ever since. Bob designed and built his home in Lushmeadows.
He felt lucky to live in Mariposa. He was an avid goldpanner and world traveler. Prior to moving to Mariposa, Bob and Sally sold their home in Moreno Valley and traveled the world together for two years. They traveled throughout Europe, the South Pacific and the Pacific Northwest. They also visited seven national parks in their RV. Even in his late 80s, Bob yearned for one more road trip to the Fidalgo Islands in the Pacific Northwest.
Bob enjoyed his small pleasures. He was fond of Thunderbird wine, smoking his pipe, listening to his Fire radio scanner and wearing his special leather cowboy hat. He loved all things related to John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Bob was a strong supporter of the NRA. He liked shooting his guns at the range. He would drive his sports cars, just a little too fast, on the curvy Mariposa roadways. He always kept up with the latest gadgets. Though he was a very proud American who participated in Civil War reenactments, he also took pride in his distant, royal French and Northern European roots.
In his life, Bob was an explorer, a salesman, a loving husband, an entrepreneur and a collector of coins and stamps. Interestingly, he and Sally were present on the day that Disneyland opened in 1955.
He was a native Californian who had no use for the government. He was a sharp dresser with a very clever, dry sense of humor. He was also tough, self-reliant, fiercely independent and even stubborn at times. Though he could be gruff, all of this disappeared when he was visited by his adoring, sassy, grandnieces.
Bob comes from a family tradition of military service. Several members of his extended family served in the military in the Revolutionary War (all 13 Bang family men), the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War. Bob served as an infantryman/photographer in the Korean War.
Bob lived a long, full and interesting life. He was an original and will be missed by family, friends and a town that enjoyed his special humor.