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Tiffany Montgomery
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Remembering Dick Baker, Part I

Dick and Una Baker
Dick and Una Baker
By Tiffany Montgomery
April 14, 2009 3:47 PM

Click here to read more tributes to Dick on Remembering Dick Baker, Part II

Updated Monday 8:05 p.m.

The latest request from the family:
In lieu of flowers, the Baker family appreciates any donations to be made to one of the following foundations: 1) SIMA Environmental Fund, 2) SIMA Humanitarian Fund, 3) The San Clemente Educational Foundation.

Here are some memories of Dick Baker from industry leaders and others he has touched with his generous and outgoing spirit. Photos are from the Shop-Eat-Surf archives and from Dick's friends and family.

Dick and Ryan BakerJack Baker, 15

"My dad and I were really, really close. Our relationship was so special. I see with some of my friends, they don't have the same kind of relationship I have with both my parents. He was my best friend. He always put me and Ryan before work.

"One of the favorite things we like to do together was take the dogs down to the beach and go surf fishing. He loved that.

"He handled his illness with hope. He was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and he treated it like it was not a big deal - he still traveled, still went to meetings, he was the same old Dad. It was amazing how he handled it.

"He was almost like a father figure to all his friends. His friends came to him for advice all the time. Everyone thought so highly of my Dad. It's almost like we are all on the same level - so many of his friends are feeling the loss as much as I do.

"I'll miss him a lot. But I know he is watching over us, and keeping us safe."

Ryan Baker, 16

The Baker boys"My Dad and I were as close as you could ever be. He was the coolest guy in the world. He was my best friend. I loved him so much. He was the most giving guy - he taught me how to be a good person. If someone was in need, he always came through, no matter what.

"I love him so much. I keep hearing the good die young, and I believe that now.

"He was the funniest guy. He would always make me laugh. I'd be sitting around with my friends, and out of nowhere my dad would appear and crack a joke, and crack us all up.

"I love him and I definitely miss him but he'll live forever in our memories. I actually don't consider him gone, because he is still with us in our hearts, souls and dreams."

Bob McKnight, CEO, Quiksilver

"Dick was the nicest, sweetest guy you could ever know. We had a great friendship and mentored each other. We were on the board of SIMA and Otis together, and spent a lot of time at trade shows, drinking wine or beer into all hours of the night and talking about everything. He had a lot of energy, and brought the best out of everybody. He has a wonderful wife and kids.

Baker boys"I can't say enough of what he meant to the surf industry. He brought global, outside apparel expertise to the industry. We all started our companies out of our garage, and grew up inside - we weren't part of the retail/garment industry at large. Dick bridged the gap and brought the perspective of the real world - asset management, inventory, profitability, receivables - all the blocking and tackling that you need. At the same time, he totally got us. He intrinsically understood our core values. Because he understood both sides, he really mentored us, both younger guys and older ones like me, and helped us understand the larger apparel world.

"At the same time, he could explain the surf industry to the outside world. When the surf industry was growing rapidly, he could articulate it to Wall Street, the media, and analysts in a professional way.

 

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