Michael Andrew Baca
December 4, 1964 – April 7, 2019
Michael Andrew Baca was born on December 4, 1964 in Alamosa, Colorado and passed away on April 7, 2019 in Indio, California.
Danielle Kirchoff, wife
Henry and Dorothy Baca, father/step-mother
Roberta “Bobi” and Scott Sondgeroth, sister/brother-in-law
Dona and Jim Dougherty, sister/brother-in-law
Stacy Hendershott and Mia Tsuchimoto, Stepsister/Partner
Kevin Hendershott, Stepbrother
Debbie Crump, Caitlin Kirchoff and Molly Kirchoff - Nieces
Darren Maus, Jamie Dougherty, Trevor Kirchoff and Josh Picker – Nephews
Mike was preceded in death by his mother and step-father, Nell Margaret and Eupert Flint and his sister Margaret “Maggie” Swink.
Michael Andrew Baca
Mike was born in Alamosa, Colorado, December 4, 1964 and was adopted through Catholic Services by Henry and Nell Baca and became part of our family when he was two months old. When he arrived at his new home, he had a terrible case of colic and cried for the first 5 months of his new life. He immediately won his way in to everyone’s heart and became the center of the family. By the age of 5, he was beginning to learn the piano and was determined to have “perfect pitch” a genetic blessing for musicians. By age 14 he had mastered the song “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” on his banjo (one of the hardest songs ever written for the Banjo). He was a gifted musician and artist and could draw anything. He particularly enjoyed drawing comic strip-type characters and cars.
One of his first jobs as a teen-ager was running the kiddie train in the “Kiddie park” section of Encanto Park in Phoenix, AZ. He made lasting life-long friends there and stayed in touch where ever he went.
He obtained a G.E.D. when he was a junior at Phoenix Central and started working different occupations trying to decide what he wanted to be when he “grew up”. At age 18 he began working in his sister Maggie’s 4-wheel drive shop in Denver, CO and learned to love and fix cars, jeeps, race cars and anything that had 4-wheel drive. He had the opportunity to help in the pit crews for two different local race car drivers and got a pit pass to help at NASCAR races a few times. These became happy memories to share with friends. Over the years he continued to love cars and became a lifetime fan of NASCAR. Every Sunday if there was a race, he was unavailable until the race was over, and in the fall, he was always watching his “team”, the Denver Broncos. In his lifetime he was able to attend several Bronco games in person and watched all the rest of the games on television.
He loved to go fishing with his pal Tom Weldon and get together with his friends any time he could. Mike made friends easily and was loved by just about everyone who knew him. Mike never had a lot of money, but he had great fun and great friends who stood by him.
Mike met Danielle, the love of his life, around 1997 and they were married in Aurora CO on December 20, 2001.
In 2002 he and his co-worker/BFF won a water jet ski at a vendor sponsored luncheon. They decided to sell it and split the money.
In 2006 Mike participated in a NASCAR “ride along” at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. It was one of the best and most exhilarating experience in his life.
He purchased a Honda dirt bike in 2006 in California and went for trail rides with his nephews and brother-in-law. When he moved back to Colorado in 2007, he went for a handful of rides by himself. Mostly he would just ride around the neighborhood to keep it running.
In the winter of 2008, his sister-in-law and nephews came to Colorado after Christmas for skiing and snowmobiling in the mountains. The snowmobiling was only to be a day trip for Danielle and Mike but it snowed heavily all day and the highway shut down in Silverthorne which left the whole crew stuck at a high school gym (emergency shelter) until the following day. Mike made the best of it and found pizza for the group.
Vacations for Mike and Danielle include a trip in 2011 to Glenwood Springs, with a hike up to the top of Hanging Lake and staying in historic The Hotel Colorado. Danielle and Mike went to Hawaii for 5 days in 2012 and visited Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona memorial and went on a charter boat trip to snorkel in the ocean among the sea turtles and dolphins. They also went on an adventure to Mesa Verde to see the Cliff Dwellings and then onto Telluride to relax and take the gondola from the resort into town for a couple of day trips and dinners. Their vacation in 2013 was a trip to Steamboat Springs where Danielle and Mike tubed down the Yampa River.
Mike loved to work outside and work with his hands. He became a meticulous craftsman and handyman and could fix and build whatever he set his mind to. He was particularly good at landscape sprinkler systems and worked in Colorado and California as a sprinkler maintenance technician. Hollywood H20 was Mike’s nickname since the early 90’s. It was given to him because he worked in lawn irrigation. He became a professional and even considered starting his own business at one time.
Throughout his life he traveled all over the United States but always came back home to Denver or somewhere in the metropolitan area. As long as he was near the mountains, he was happy. One of the highlights of his life was buying and fixing up his home in Castle Rock, CO. He and his wife, Danielle, finished the basement, remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms and he built his own Pergola over his backyard living space. He was so talented in so many things and Danielle worked right beside him helping him with every project.
He loved working and the happiest time of his life was when he was hired to work for the Town of Castle Rock, Colorado. He was a truly happy man during that time.
He was a gentle, kind spirt who never missed a chance to help people he met. He once helped a friend move to Indiana by driving the moving truck. Then he went with Danielle to North Carolina to help care for Danielle’s mother during the final stage of her lung cancer. He gave his skateboard to the little girl across the street to cheer her up because she had been bullied at school. So many times, he just stepped out and tried to help someone if he thought he could.
In 2016 he had a heart attack shoveling snow and after that, things were never the same. Unable to find work in Colorado, he and Danielle moved to Indio, California at the end of 2017 where he worked with Danielle’s sister, Susan, on various projects.
Mike passed away in Indio, California from a GI bleed they called “natural causes” on April 7th, 2019 at the age of 54. He was laid to rest at Olinger Highlands Cemetery in Thornton, CO. Although he is gone, he is a part of each one of us who loved him and as long as we hold him in our hearts, he is still with us. Rest in peace for now Mike. We’ll see you again.
Please use the "Tribute Movie" link to view a glimpse into moments of his life.