In the Carleton Voice of Fall 1972, David Baker wrote that he had finished a three-year tour of duty in the Navy as a Missile Fire Control Officer aboard the carrier U.S.S. America. He planned to return to the Wharton School of Finance in Philadelphia to complete work on an M.B.A. degree. [The Wharton School confirmed that he had first attended Wharton in 1968, then took a leave of absence and returned for the 1972 and 1973 academic years. He received his M.B.A. on August 24, 1973.]
Dave’s obit says that he died in September 2016. Apparently shortly before his death, I contacted Dave about helping with the reunion planning process, and received an e-mail reply from him dated 9/4/2106, stating in part:
“I am currently not in good health, so I won’t be able to help with the planning group. I would like to attend the reunion, however. We’ll have to see where I stand then.”
I replied to Dave, saying that I was sorry to hear his news, and hoping that he’d be able to attend the reunion.
Obviously Dave’s health was declining more than he indicated, since he died by the end of that month.
This is a good example of why it is good that we stay in touch with our classmates, even those we didn’t know well at Carleton, which was my situation with Dave. The last time I saw Dave was briefly at Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport RI in the spring of 1969, when he was coming in the door at about the same time that I was about to go out the door, along with Gary Jacobsen. (Jake and I were in the same company at OCS.)
We saw another classmate at OCS too, John Williams. John was about to leave (receive his commission) at the time that Jake and I arrived.
To use a cliché that has a naval twist, we were somewhat like ships passing in the night, moving on to the next chapter in our lives. I hope to see Jake and John at reunion, even though I won’t be able to see Dave.
Bob Carlson ’68
For three months in the summer of 1967, Dave, Rich Tittle, and I traveled together around Europe. We didn’t know each other very well before hand, but we turned out to be amazingly compatible travel companions. We were so lucky! In the spring of ’67, someone at Carleton had arranged for a discount round trip plane fare from New York to London if there were at least 30 (I think) of us, and if we all flew out and back on the same dates. We’d be independent travelers once we arrived. I was looking for someone to travel with. Dave (with a loan from his dad) was buying a new VW beetle at the factory in Germany. When I learned that Dave and Rich were looking for one or two people to join them and share car expenses, I boldly said I would. They said good. Roger Poore traveled with us for a week or two, also. We explored many fantastic cultural and natural sights while usually staying in Youth Hostels. Dave and Rich had taken French and I had taken German so we were sort of covered for language everywhere we went, except Italy. Dave was great at budgeting. He kept careful gas and mileage records and early-on mentioned his own budget for daily food and lodging. It worked with my funds, so I adopted his budget plan, too. I also learned a navigation trick from him. I hadn’t thought about it before, but while in Berlin, Dave pointed out that I could use landmarks for orientation and navigation (turn right at the church, etc.). A simple idea that I’ve used ever since. I could drive a stick-shift, so for most of the trip Dave and I shared the driving. Dave had a few people to see during our trip. He was an excellent organist and in Paris he met with Nadia Boulanger, the well-known French composer, conductor, and teacher. He also visited with his Dutch relatives living in Holland, and in Rome we visited with a friend of his from home who was also traveling. Both Dave and Rich were good photographers and took slides of the trip. I took basic snapshots. We all focused on composition, but they had the added fun of talking about f-stops. When we got back to Carleton in the fall, they gave a wonderful side show in my dorm’s lounge. I have had many wonderful travel experiences since then, but that summer with Dave and Rich set the standard – three friends, young, unencumbered, curious about the world, and happy. We lost contact over the years and I would have loved to reminisce with them at reunion and watch their slides once more.
Pam McLevy Morse