EDISTO ISLAND - Dr. Charles Richard "Dick" Furman Baker Jr., died on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, peacefully at his home on Edisto, surrounded by his loving wife and children.
He was born on April 27, 1935, in Sumter. He went to Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, and was a member of the wrestling team. Graduating in 1953, he received the award for the best all-around student, like his father had before him. For his undergraduate work, he attended Princeton University, where he was a member of the Tiger Inn and the wrestling team. After graduating with high honors in 1957, he attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. After medical school, he did his residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and was the chief surgical resident in 1966. He spent one year of his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was a fourth-generation surgeon in South Carolina and a direct descendant of the Baptist leader Richard Furman, for whom Furman University is named.
He served as an officer in the United States Air Force and spent almost two years at CCK Air Force Base in Taichung, Taiwan, in 1967 and 1968. He retired from active duty in the USAF as a captain and returned to the States. He then pursued fellowship trauma training at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas.
He later worked at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and was a member of the faculty of the Emory School of Medicine in the 1970s. In 1977, he joined the medical faculty at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. Though a general surgeon, he specialized in treating trauma and burns. Among many accomplishments, he played an instrumental role in establishing the emergency medical service system at Texas Tech and the entire West Texas region. Over his 40-year career, he taught countless residents and medical students the art of surgery and professionalism. He retired in 2001 and returned to South Carolina.
In addition to his medical skills, he was an avid and accomplished hunter and fisherman. He honed those skills early with his father in the fields, lakes, rivers and swamps near Sumter and Pawleys' Island Creek and the reefs offshore. His favorite pastime remained fishing the offshores and coastal creeks of South Carolina with his children, grandchildren and friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his father, mother and a son.
His survivors include his wife, a son, a daughter, four granddaughters and 14 great-grandchildren.
The family will have a private service.
A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.
Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr Inc., West Ashley Chapel, 3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway, Charleston, SC 29414.
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