DAVID MARK BAKER (1955-2019): On July 16th, David Baker lay down to sleep at his home of 27 years in Fair Bluff, North Carolina, and woke up at the side of his Lord and Savior. He was sixty-four years of age.
Born January 1st, 1955 at 12:01 AM in Greenville, South Carolina, to Reverend Claire Conrad Baker and Mrs. Annabelle Oswalt Baker, David was the fourth child of five. As a young man, David's family followed the travels of his father, a minister. Residing in various cities throughout his youth, David developed many interests including gardening, basketball and carpentry. Whether delivering papers in the driving snow at the break of dawn or single-handedly mowing entire neighborhoods of lawns, his mower purchased through proceeds from his lemonade stand, David was always engaging in his own industry to fuel the fire of his passions.
Assisting his father about the church, David found himself quickly drawn into religious life, showing an early affinity and aptitude for music. Beginning at the age of 15, David would perform and preside in a musical capacity in every congregation he would join for the rest of his life. Following attendance at Eastern Kentucky University, Coastal Carolina University and Southeastern Community College, while visiting his father's congregation in Cherry Grove, North Carolina, David met and married his beloved wife of forty-two years, Kathy Marie Strickland. Together they settled in and around the Columbus County area and raised their three sons, sharing in each other's joys and sorrows for over forty years.
After nearly a decade of exemplary service as sales manager and district manager of two national pest control companies, David launched his own enterprise, Baker's Bug Business. Under his ownership, Baker's Bug Business would serve communities from the Triangle to Myrtle Beach for over thirty-two years. While his capacity as a business owner brought him tremendous satisfaction through the service and peace of mind he provided to his clients, David's greatest sources of joy were his family, his church, and engaging in charitable and civic works.
David's motto of “Success is sweet, but the secret is sweat”, epitomized his life's trajectory. Known as a tenacious executor of civic endeavors, he was often the first to arrive at the site of an event or new construction, and more often than not last to leave. He participated in and led various community efforts as member, adviser, representative, chairman, and president for the vast majority of his adult life in organizations that included the Fair Bluff Jaycees, the Fair Bluff Elementary Parent Teacher Association, the Columbus Career Academy, the Fair Bluff Community Library Association Board and Rotary International for which he received multiple District Awards, including the Service Above Self Award.
As a churchman, David ministered in various capacities throughout his life. At age 18 he became Worship and Drama Leader at Carmel Baptist Church in Richmond, KY. Three years later, at Cherry Grove Baptist, he led for eight years as Music Director, while also serving as Children’s Sunday School Director and a teacher. From 1991-2016, he dutifully served Fair Bluff Baptist Church as Music and Worship Leader, as well as Director of The Baptist Men's Association and ordained Deacon, organizing countless concerts, services, and community events.
For twenty years, he performed as a member and a Section Leader of the prestigious North Carolina Baptist Singers and Orchestra, providing magnificent performances as well as missionary work - from the humblest country church to prestigious venues internationally. David was welcomed into his final church home, Pleasant Plains Baptist Church, as Minister of Music in 2017, until at last, The Music called him home.
David's family and social life was an ocean, both broad and deep, his compassion was plain to see in his smile, and the sincerity of his handshake was undeniable. David's family and descendants are many, his friends nearly innumerable. Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Kathy Marie Strickland Baker; sons, Dallas Mark (Mary-Giao), Matthew David (Lora), and Tavis Lance; grandchildren, Conrad and Claire (Dallas and Mary-Giao) and Cade and Maggie (Matthew and Lora); his four siblings, Claire Sizemore, Allen Baker, Mary Barlow, and Kenneth Baker; and his many beloved nieces and nephews.
Services will be held on Sunday, July 21st, 2019 at 3pm at Cherry Grove Baptist Church, where his life with Kathy began; with a visitation reception immediately following the service at the Cherry Grove Fellowship Hall. Memorial donations may be made in the name of David Mark Baker to the American Humane Society and/or the American Diabetes Association.
The Baker Family is grateful to our family, friends, and community for the outpouring of compassion, fraternity, and love during the passing of our beloved David.
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