OBITUARY

Arthur Filadelfo Baca

January 2, 1924April 10, 2018
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Arthur Filadelfo Baca

Arthur F. Baca January 2, 1924 – April 10, 2018

Arthur Filadelfo Baca Jr. was born in Denver, Colorado to Arthur F. Baca Sr. and Aleene Stocking Baca. His father was a medic during World War I, and was exposed to and contracted Tuberculosis. Because of this disease, the younger Arthur never got to know his father. He was raised in Taos, New Mexico, with his uncle Fred Baca being his father figure.

He had a fascination with flying and airplanes from an early age. He designed and built his own flyable model airplanes out of balsa wood. When the United States entered World War II, Arthur joined the U.S. Army Air Force as soon as he turned 18. He became a cadet and learned to fly. He developed a depth perception issue with his eyesight and was retrained and reassigned to different positions throughout the rest of the war, from mechanic to navigator, to flight engineer. Fortunately for the author of this obituary, (his son), the war ended before he was deployed into combat.

After an honorable discharge, Arthur decided if he couldn’t be a pilot, he would become an engineer and design aircraft for a living. He went to The University of Colorado and graduated in 1950 with a BA in Engineering, specializing in Structures Engineering. He soon got a job working for General Dynamics, which first brought him to San Diego. In the early 60s, he worked for Aerojet/General. During this time he began working on the U.S. Space program, working on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Spacecraft. In 1967, he spent a year working on the first American Spy Satellite, at MIT/Lincoln Labs. In the 1970s, he worked on “Surface Effects Ships”, navy vessels that basically flew slightly above the water over 5 times faster than traditional ships. He took a job with Rohr Industries, so he could be in San Diego when he retired. He went on to work on many top secret projects until his retirement in 1992. He loved his work so much, he had to be practically dragged out ‘kicking and screaming’.

In 1954, he met the love of his life, Susannah. They had a strong 63 year marriage. He is survived by his wife, his son Rex Baca, daughter Charlotte Wright, Granchildren Jeffery Jones, James L. Guthrie, and Laura Russell, Great Grandchildren Amanda Welch, Paul Guthrie, and James Guthrie Jr., and many Great-Great Grandchildren. His daughter Sherry Miller passed on his birthday in 2003, but her husband Jim Miller is still part of the family. Arthur is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He loved his whole family very much.

He started showing signs of dementia in 1993, and bravely battled the disease for 25 years, which is rare considering most dementia patients succumb to the disease within 5 years. The core goodness of his heart and compassion for people never left him. Up to his final days, he’d tell people he loved them, made people laugh with hand signals when he couldn’t speak much, and never forgot his son Rex’s name. He was loved by all and will be sorely missed, but forever in our hearts.

  • FAMILY

  • Susannah Baca, Wife
  • Rex Alan Baca, Son
  • Charlotte Wright, Daughter

Services

  • Funeral Service Saturday, April 21, 2018
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Arthur Filadelfo Baca

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Biography

Arthur Filadelfo Baca


Arthur F. Baca January 2, 1924 – April 10, 2018

Arthur Filadelfo Baca Jr. was born in Denver, Colorado to Arthur F. Baca Sr. and Aleene Stocking Baca. His father was a medic during World War I, and was exposed to and contracted Tuberculosis. Because of this disease, the younger Arthur never got to know his father. He was raised in Taos, New Mexico, with his uncle Fred Baca being his father figure.

He had a fascination with flying and airplanes from an early age. He designed and built his own flyable model airplanes out of balsa wood. When the United States entered World War II, Arthur joined the U.S. Army Air Force as soon as he turned 18. He became a cadet and learned to fly. He developed a depth perception issue with his eyesight and was retrained and reassigned to different positions throughout the rest of the war, from mechanic to navigator, to flight engineer. Fortunately for the author of this obituary, (his son), the war ended before he was deployed into combat.

After an honorable discharge, Arthur decided if he couldn’t be a pilot, he would become an engineer and design aircraft for a living. He went to The University of Colorado and graduated in 1950 with a BA in Engineering, specializing in Structures Engineering. He soon got a job working for General Dynamics, which first brought him to San Diego. In the early 60s, he worked for Aerojet/General. During this time he began working on the U.S. Space program, working on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Spacecraft. In 1967, he spent a year working on the first American Spy Satellite, at MIT/Lincoln Labs. In the 1970s, he worked on “Surface Effects Ships”, navy vessels that basically flew slightly above the water over 5 times faster than traditional ships. He took a job with Rohr Industries, so he could be in San Diego when he retired. He went on to work on many top secret projects until his retirement in 1992. He loved his work so much, he had to be practically dragged out ‘kicking and screaming’.

In 1954, he met the love of his life, Susannah. They had a strong 63 year marriage. He is survived by his wife, his son Rex Baca, daughter Charlotte Wright, Granchildren Jeffery Jones, James L. Guthrie, and Laura Russell, Great Grandchildren Amanda Welch, Paul Guthrie, and James Guthrie Jr., and many Great-Great Grandchildren. His daughter Sherry Miller passed on his birthday in 2003, but her husband Jim Miller is still part of the family. Arthur is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He loved his whole family very much.

He started showing signs of dementia in 1993, and bravely battled the disease for 25 years, which is rare considering most dementia patients succumb to the disease within 5 years. The core goodness of his heart and compassion for people never left him. Up to his final days, he’d tell people he loved them, made people laugh with hand signals when he couldn’t speak much, and never forgot his son Rex’s name. He was loved by all and will be sorely missed, but forever in our hearts.