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David B. Baker Jr., 74, owner of...


David B. Baker Jr., 74, owner of Reese Press

David B. Baker Jr., owner and chairman of the board of Reese Press and restorer of a historic Eastern Shore home, died Monday of heart failure at Memorial Hospital in Easton. The Talbot County resident was 74.

At the time of his death, Mr. Baker was chairman of the Baltimore-based printer of high-quality marketing materials, which he had owned since 1970.

Born and raised in Roland Park, Mr. Baker was a 1945 graduate of Gilman School and received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1949. He earned a law degree from the University of Maryland Law School in 1952 but did not practice.

He was a private in the Marine Corps during the waning days of World War II.

In the late 1950s, he moved to New York City, where he worked in the agricultural chemicals acquisitions division of W.R. Grace Co. and as a consultant to an investment company before he returned to Baltimore.

Mr. Baker, who had homes in Ruxton and Gibson Island, was treasurer of the restoration of the historic Paca House in Annapolis. His experience with Paca House sparked his interest in historic preservation and led him to purchase Webley, an 18th-century manor house in Wittman.

For the past 25 years, he and his wife of 50 years, the former Eleanor Parker, worked on the home on Eastern Bay that was used as a military hospital during the Civil War and has been on numerous Maryland historic house tours.

He was a former member and had been president of the Gibson Island Club and senior warden of St. Christopher-By-The-Sea Church on Gibson Island. He also was a longtime volunteer at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.

A dog lover, he often brought home and cared for stray dogs.

He was a member of the Bachelors Cotillon, Maryland Club and Chesapeake Bay Yacht Club.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Christ Episcopal Church in St. Michaels.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, David B. Baker III of Ruxton; a daughter, Nina Ross Baker of Timonium; a sister, Kitty Baker Adams of Rochester, N.Y.; and four grandchildren.

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