Craig Baker died peacefully on March 5, 2023 in the timber-framed cabin he lovingly built at the foot of Pikes Peak, in Florissant, Colorado. He was 74 years old.
Craig was born in Amarillo, Texas on November 6, 1948. His family eventually settled in Wheaton, Illinois where his friends and classmates called him “Tex”. He graduated from Wheaton High School in 1967. He served bravely in the Army in Viet Nam and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant at the age of 20. He headed back to school and attended both Western Illinois and Southern Illinois University. With his thesis submitted, he decided to move on from ancient “Old Tech” to current “High Tech”. From that point on he was a software architect in multiple industries, including hospitality, technology, government, and military until he retired. At the same time he and his former wife, Jean Beaudoin, raise two daughters, Leah and Brye, Albuquerque and Phoenix.
Eventually, he made his way to Florissant, Colorado where he built his beloved cabin in the mountains and cared for his sister, Vickie Lee Baker. There his creativity shifted to woodworking and using objects from nature to create furniture and art. At the time of his death, he was showing hand-crafted lamps at a gallery in Woodland Park, Colorado.
Craig was known to have a simmering wit and quick temper. He was brilliant, tortured, caring, independent, creative, difficult, and funny. In family gatherings he was known for helping young children “walk on the ceiling”. They all waited their turn. He had a passion for the outdoors and at various stages of his life he was an avid hiker, river rafter, and weekend camper exploring the southwest. He and Leah liked to take hikes in the Phoenix Mountains preserves. He built his own rafts and even took one on a 3 week shakedown trip with Brye on the Colorado River. He also loved gardening and made desert koi ponds, making umpteen trips to hunt for the perfect landscaping rocks on public lands.
He is survived by his daughters, Leah (Chris Henggeler) and Brye (Cory Sloan); his grandchildren, Ione, Emory, and Vivian; his siblings Cynthia, Vickie, Scott, Buddy, Gene, and his beloved dog Remi.
A memorial service is planned for the summer of 2023.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Colorado Palliative & Hospice Care.
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