Michael Baker of Lincoln passed away at age 73 after fighting pancreatic cancer for over 5 years. Michael was in the U.S. Army and spent 47 weeks at the Defense Language Institute learning Vietnamese prior to serving in Viet Nam. He earned his B.S. at the University of South Carolina and his M.A. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A retired educator who was National Board Certified in History, his calling was to help students think critically about the world. He sent his children to school each day reminding them to “ask good questions” as he felt that asking questions was as important as knowing the answers.
As the son of a Navy Captain, Michael lived all over the U.S. and usually near an ocean. He loved the water and sailed around the Caribbean throughout his twenties. Michael’s passion was playing (and watching) golf and was a fervent Red Sox fan. He hosted several radio programs on KZUM; DeadPhish featuring jam music and Room 101 devoted to educational issues.
Married to Nancy Rowch for 41 years, he is also survived by his daughter Devon Baker and her husband Matthew Hutton of Lincoln; his son Collin Baker and his partner Edith Adams of Los Angeles. He is survived by his brother-in-law Alan Rowch and his wife, Kathi of Omaha, his sister-in-law Cindy Schumacher of Lincoln, his sister Susan Watts of Palm Beach, FL, and many wonderful nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents, Captain Lawrence H. Baker and Janie F. Baker of Indialantic, FL.
Michael, we love you infinity giants. Sweet dreams.
Celebration of Life Information: Wednesday, June 15 from 1:00-3:00 PM at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course. Casual dress. Masks are encouraged.
Donations in memory of Michael may be sent to the Capital Humane Society or the Cat House of Lincoln. Please no flowers. Instead share a story about Michael with someone you love.
To leave a condolence please use the form below.
Funeral Home assisting is Aspen Mortuary, 4822 Cleveland Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68504. To view an on-line obituary or email condolences please visit Aspen Mortuary’s website at www.aspenaftercare.com.
Condolences for Michael Baker
The world has lost a good one. Michael was such a bright spot in this world. I’ve got lots of fond memories of him – since my teenage years I’ve been close friends with his Daughter, Devon. Michael was always so supportive of whatever we wanted to do. He had a lot of respect for us kids – and it showed.
I remember cruising around with y’all in the VW van – he always had a jam band on and would occasionally entertain our teenage music requests for Ska or pop punk.
Generally, I remember his quick wit and almost sassy (in a good way) attitude and his hilariously infectious laugh. What a guy. He lived so many “lives” in his 73 years. I was lucky to know him.
Devon, Collin, Nancy and family my heart goes out to you.
I’m saddened to hear about the loss of Mr. Baker. My daughter learned how to assess and better understand history when she was in his class at East high. The world needs more progressive teachers like Mr. Baker.
Deborah T. McGinn
Michael Baker and I became friends when we both taught at Lincoln High School. I missed him when he went to East High, yet I supported his every move in the classroom and the unique way he educated and encouraged young scholars. One summer years ago, my tiny niece Alli slipped into the swimming pool and he jumped in clothes and all to snag her. I was right there too, and we always shared a friendship bond that was unbreakable. I loved my friend Michael and am sad to hear this news of his passing. I send his family my love, his students and anyone else connected to this man who made a difference. I am grateful we saw each other at oncology where my father and Michael also met and shared positive energy.
Nancy and family: We would like to offer our deepest condolences. Michael was a dear friend and will be truly missed.
Joel and Susan
I am saddened to hear the news of Michael’s passing and I send my sincere condolences to his family. I knew Michael from his education activism, particularly his radio program, Room 101 on KZUM, and his participation in the Rouge Forum. Michael was the exactly the kind history teacher we need more of, someone who always encourages students to ask questions, in particular, “why are things as they are?” RIP Michael, thanks for all you need to make the world a better place.
Mr. Baker has had such an incredible impact on who I am as a citizen and how I’m raising my son. So much so, that I bring him and those everlasting ideas up with others. You were so wise and brought an abundance of love and laughs into the classroom, even when breaking down the most complex topics. You respected each of us as young scholars who would one day need to think for ourselves and motivated us to be passionate about all we’d come to do in life. Rest in peace and here’s to the fond memories you leave with friends and family to help comfort us while grieving your loss.
So sorry Nancy and family. I feel like i knew Michael thru how Nancy spoke of him. He was loved. Again, so sorry for your loss.
When I think of the role models and important people who helped to shape who I am today, Michael Baker is one of those people. Collin and I were close friends from pre-school into our early teenage years, and one of my favorite parts of hanging out (nearly every weekend) was spending time with Michael and Nancy. From getting Runza, to skateboarding/rollerblading across the street at Human Elementary, to renting movies at blockbuster and playing video games late into the evening (especially Halo!) – Michael was a dear part of all of those memories.
To this day, I am so grateful for the impact Michael had on my life and my character. My love for him and all of the fond memories I have from my childhood will continue to be a valuable part of me as the world continues to turn. My deepest condolences to your family. Sending all of love and support from afar.
Heartfelt condolences on the passing of your beloved husband and father, Michael.
Michael was someone you were always happy to see and he was happy to see you. I miss you my friend.
I can’t even fathom losing a tremendous soul like Michael. My heart goes out to his family at this time. As a teacher, he taught us all to think critically and to question everything. He taught a generation of us not to take things at face value and to dig deeper for the real truth. I always admired how he taught us so unconventionally. I am thankful he was on Facebook for all these years past me graduating and I loved seeing what he accomplished from afar. Rest in power and rest in peace. You’ll be forever missed and always remembered.
Nancy and family, I hope the love and the wonderful memories you shared bring you comfort and peace. Carla
Michael was a special friend and the best neighbor you could ask for. Always a pleasure to visit with him. I will always think of his fondness for oatmeal raisin cookies which I so enjoyed baking for him.
We will miss you, Michael, you were a bright spot in our world.
Nancy, condolences to you and your family.
Sorry to hear that Michael has passed but glad to hear he’s now at rest. Many good memories remain. RIP
I wish you and your family comfort and peace at this time of great loss. Michael was a gift to his family and to the world.
It’s clear that this loss will be felt for a long time. His humanity and kindness will be felt for much longer.
Blessings to you all.
Condolences to Nancy and Family,
Michael was such a good soul. I liked him from the minute I met him…and I don’t say that about many people.
Our hearts are with you, Jane and Rocky
I’m very sorry to learn of Michael’s passing. His bright, generous, and kind, soul is missed by all who knew him. Nancy, I have thought of you often. I am thankful for your family to help give you strength for this sad time. My sweet Daisy who came from the Cat House has been a source of great comfort. I will be giving a donation to the Cat House in memory of Michael. My condolences.
Nancy, Devin, Collin, and all of Michael’s family, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Know he is resting, without pain, celebrating you and all you meant to him as you celebrate all he meant to you. He would only want that you embrace each other, always together walking bravely towards your future. He will always stand over you vigilantly cheering you on with his love and devotion. Blessings and prayers. Sharon and Riqui Sáez
Nancy, I’m so sorry for your loss. My sympathies to you and your family.