David John Baker

May 6, 1946August 1, 2012
Play Tribute Movie

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.


  • Visitation Thursday, August 23, 2012
  • Funeral Service Friday, August 24, 2012

David John Baker

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Debbie Mattingly-Hallam

September 11, 2012


I just found out about Dave's passing. I was shocked by the news as I had been out of the country at the time. Dave was a wonderful person and great representative for all of the military. I am honored to have worked with him at Humana Military.

Darlene Armstrong

September 5, 2012

Connie, you and Dave's family are in my prayers. I enjoyed working with both of you at HMHS and several of us still talk about those times with fond memories. I did not know he was at Patrick for the Challenger disaster. Remember still where I was when I heard the news.

Michele Branham

September 5, 2012

I had the pleasure to work at the Orlando AFO when Dave was the Regional Director of HMHS. He was a very kind and caring person. Thank you Dave for all you gave to your country, your co-workers and HMHS. You were truely a great example. To Connie and family, you are in my prayers as you go through this difficult time.

August 31, 2012

I had the privilege of working with Dave at Humana Military from 1996 until my retirement in 2011. He was indeed an exceptional and well-respected leader - one who inspired quality performance and loyalty. Humana Military benefited tremendously under his leadership. I am certain his memory will continue to live on in the hearts of all he touched. I am honored to have known him. Connie and family, Bill and I share in the sorrow of your loss.
Gayle Van Veen

Brenda Patino

August 26, 2012

What an incredible leader and friend Mr. Baker (Dave) was to all his fellow Humana Military associates. He will forever remain in our hearts and his spirit lives on in his family. Keeping you in my prayers.

Jerry Ahern

August 25, 2012

I would like to share one more example of Dave Baker's expression of caring. In August of 1980 Dave, Mac McLean, and I were sent to Detroit to testify as Government witnesses. Detroit is my home town, so Dave and I stayed with my mother. The day after we left she called me to say that "nice young man" had sent her a beautiful flower arrangement. A simple thank you wasn't enough for Major Baker. My mother recalled that kindness many times later. (jerry Ahern, Chief Master Sergeant, USAF, Ret

TSC Associates - LRAFB

August 24, 2012

Our deepest sympathy. He will be missed.

August 24, 2012

I have known David and his Mother, Father, and Sister since the early 60's.Our families were stationed at Gunter AFB in Montgomery,Alabama. David and I used to run together when we were in high school(he set a pace that was hard to keep up with even though I was a couple of years older)..We had many good conversations on those runs.I could tell a lot about his character and up-bringing. He exemplified what the Baker's were all about.The whole family is as good as it gets.David will be missed greatly by all who knew him.
Jerry Black,DVM San Antonio,TX.

August 23, 2012

I knew Col Baker during his tour at Keesler AFB in the mid 90's; he was the senior administrator and therefore mentored us junior officers. Always a gentleman and consummate professional, he reached out to us in many ways...we even talked him in to playing a round or two of paint ball with us captains and lieutenants. Such a good sport, I know he was splattered several times without complaint...but even now I refuse to rat on the junior officers who dared attack the good Colonel (it wans't me)! I was also honored to particpate in his retirement ceremony...he shed a gentle tear while voicing touching words of farewell; there are some moments in time that are never forgotten; that was one of them!
He impacted my life in many positive ways for which I am eternally grateful, and by reading the previous comments of others, there are many who feel the same.
May this be gentle and inspirational time for the Baker family.
Very Respectfully,
JAMES M. COHEN, Lt Col (ret), MSC


August 23, 2012

Deepest sympathies to the Baker family.