Colonel (Ret). David J. Baker, USAF, 66, of Louisville, KY and formerly of San Antonio, TX died August 1, 2012 of melanoma while on vacation in Florida. Born in Pittsfield, MA, Dave pursued his first career in the US Air Force and served in various executive posts both in Germany and USAF base hospitals as a Medical Service Corp officer. After his retirement from the Air Force, Dave joined Humana Inc. as a Regional Executive Director of Humana Military Healthcare Services; in 2000 Dave was promoted to President and CEO of Humana Military Healthcare Services and served in this position until his retirement in January 2012. Dave held an MBA from the University of Florida and completed his undergraduate studies at University of Maryland as well as programs at the Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the Squadron Officers School.
Dave was known by all who served and worked with him as a humble and inspiring leader. Dave possessed quiet and steady resolve in dealing with difficult and challenging leadership situations; for example, he coordinated the recovery mission after the Challenger disaster in 1986 while serving as Administrator at the Patrick Air Force Base military hospital in Florida. Dave was a key member of the Humana Military executive team and helped lead the implementation of the Humana Military Healthcare Services DOD contract in 1996 that today serves over three million military retirees and family member beneficiaries in the South and Southeast United States.
Dave was a member of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, The Military Officers Association of America, and was on the Board of Directors of the Frazier History Museum in Louisville. Dave's hobbies were visiting family, reading, playing tennis, and traveling. Dave told friends that he and his wife had the "trip of a lifetime" when they recently went on a European river cruise.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Colonel (Ret.) Wesley H. Baker, USAF, and mother, Thelma. Dave is survived by his wife, Connie, of Louisville, KY; daughter, Laura Rymes and husband William and his two grandchildren, Sydney and William (Quint) of Frederick, MD; sister, Susan Tarpley, and husband, Ray of Kingsport, TN; and nieces Treva Tarpley and Elizabeth Corpstein, Kingsport, TN; nephew, Anderson Tarpley, Nashville, TN and several grand nieces and nephews . Extended family members include Diane Baker, Niceville, FL; Jill and Scott Doyle, Minden, NV; Charles and Doris Steinman and Scott and Lynn Clark, Lancaster, PA; and Tara and Matthew Lightner, Denton, MD.