Richard P. Baker November 27, 1941 - November 28, 2019 Dr. Richard P. Baker, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Boise State University, died November 28, 2019. He was 78. Dr. Baker was born in Scranton, PA, and raised in Sinclair, Wyoming. He attended Rawlins High School. He studied at Northwest College and then the University of Wyoming where he earned a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in sociology. He then attended Washington State University where he earned a Ph.D. in sociology. In 1973 he joined the sociology faculty at Boise State University, retiring in 2006. Dr. Baker's career was distinguished by his commitment to human rights and social justice. He devoted himself tirelessly to advancing the dignity, power and public awareness of Idaho's minority populations. He was instrumental in establishing academic programs, conferences and scholarships for Mexican-American students. For many years, Baker was passionately engaged in investigating the lives of Idaho's migrant farmworkers and in advocating for Idaho's Hispanic community. His work was recognized with awards from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, the coveted Larry Selland Humanitarian Award, the BSU Distinguished Service Award, and the award for outstanding contributions to the cause of Latino students from the Organizacion de Estudiantes Latino-Americanos. Baker's advocacy was informed by years of research that culminated in the publication of two scholarly books, Los Dos Mundos and Mexican American Students: A Study of Educationally Discounted Youth. He received two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, one at the University of Chicago and another at the University of Southern California, as well as a Fulbright award to Bulgaria and Romania. Dr. Baker was equally passionate about the outdoors. He loved Idaho's mountains, deserts, streams and rivers, and he was an avid hiker, skier and fisherman. He treasured annual visits to Sun Valley and Redfish Lake where he relished hiking in the Sawtooths. He looked forward to his winter trips to Kauai and walking the beaches of Hanalei and Tunnels. He was a voracious reader, appreciating good literature and an occasional spy mystery. He and his wife enjoyed traveling and collecting Native American art. And, of course, he loved Bronco football. Baker is survived by his partner in life, Dr. Alecia Amdahl Baker, their son Nicolas Baker, and granddaughters Eleanor Baker (aged 12) and Beatrice Baker (aged 8), mother-in law, Eleanor Phelan, brothers-in-law Paul and Mark Amdahl and Mark's wife and daughter. He was a doting parent to his son and later to Nic's daughters of whom he was infinitely proud. His family loved and admired him. A remembrance will be held at the Baker home on Friday, December 6, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. For directions call 208-342-0905. Park in the bike lane or reserved areas. Donations may be made to the Baker Educational Fund at the Idaho Central Credit Union or a scholarship fund of your choice.

Support Local Journalism


Subscribe

Load comments