Derek S. Baker, age 46, of Lake Elmo, MN passed away on Monday, January 29, 2018 in St. Croix County, WI. He was born October 25, 1971 in Morristown, NJ.
Derek loves his family–his wife Nancy, children Derek, Allyssa and Spencer, grand-daughter Raelyn, parents Sharon and Dick Deiber, father-in-law Jerry Mathison, mother-in-law Lori Hansen, sister Janelle (Chuck) Siebsen, sister-in-law Joey (Dan) Glisczinski, sister-in-law Sheri (Scott) Bauer, nieces (Amber, Celine, Corinna, Macy, Noelle, and Sierra), nephews (Brent, Nate, Skylar and Sterling), uncle Ron (Linda) Roy, aunt Barbara (Tom) Weberling, uncle Larry (Linda) Deiber, and cousins.
Derek was preceded in death by his father Tom Baker and grandparents.
Derek is loved by all. He was funny, intelligent, and caring. Derek had an adventurous soul.
While growing up, Derek’s sister Janelle would frequently offer direction. Derek’s consistent response was “Will you let me do what I can do?” One of his first adventures at 4 years old, was driving his little tractor to the neighborhood pool so he could float the sailboat that his grandparents purchased for him. The entire neighborhood spent half a day searching for him.
Derek graduated from White Bear Lake High School in 1989. He went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in design.
In 1991, Derek met the love of a lifetime Nancy Jean Mathison. The two were married July, 19 1997. For over 27 years, they embarked on many adventures including downhill skiing (Derek’s favorite), snowmobiling, “Sea-Dooing”, boating, tubing (Derek loved to spray everyone!), swimming, waterskiing, wake-boarding, biking, rollerblading, snowboarding, volleyball, hiking, rock climbing, and skydiving.
While raising their three beautiful children, Little D, Allyssa and Spencer, Derek and Nancy went on to build their dream home. Their adventures continued with family vacations (Colorado, Florida, and many others), trampolining, yard games (kickball, kick the can, badminton, croquet), night games (flash light ball tag), ice skating, dirt biking, off-trail skiing, paintball and sledding.
And they experienced joy in quieter times as well. These included playing board games (Stop Thief, Twisted Metal, Monopoly, Cribbage) and card games.
Derek loved a challenge. These included the Spartan Race, Ninja Warrior training, trophy Elk hunting, fixing up the ’68 Coronet, and skydiving with Nancy.
Derek was deeply involved in the community. He led Boy Scouts, helped Nancy with Girl Scouts, volunteered for the Lions Club, and coached baseball and softball. He enjoyed volunteering at all of the kids’ school functions.
Derek loved to gather with all of his friends. The Baker Bonfire will be an eternal flame in the hearts of many.
Derek was a proud member of the 3M family’s corporate culture of care and success for the past 20+ years. He spent his career in the Personal Safety Division – Heavy Manufacturing, Transportation and Mining Industries in a variety of roles including product development, Six Sigma, business development and technical service/application engineering. In 1993, he started his career at 3M as a Technical Aide and was hired as a permanent employee in December 1996 in the Powered and Supplied Air Laboratory as Product Development Engineer. In 2004, he transitioned into a Six Sigma Black Belt role. After certification in 2006, Derek accepted a position as the Global Welding Business Manager. In 2008, Derek joined the Technical Service team as a product specialist for Welding/Powered and Supplied Air. In 2015, Derek became a Global Vertical Technical Service Specialist for Heavy Manufacturing, Transportation and Mining and achieved the level of T5, Technical Service Senior Specialist. Derek was a recognized expert on helping to protect workers doing metalworking and welding in the US and around the world. Derek’s unique strength was his ability to connect with people. He worked with employers and workers on every continent, but Antarctica, helping make sure that people were safe, healthy, comfortable, productive, and doing high-quality work. Derek had an energetic, positive, and truly fun spirit that infected everyone he interreacted with and made a difference in so many lives. Derek had an amazing network of colleagues and customers around the world that miss him dearly.
The celebration of Derek’s life began with a memorial service at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (14107 Hudson Road South, Afton, MN 55001) on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm. Family will begin greeting guests at noon. All are welcome to join a celebration of Derek’s life following the service at The Envision Event Center (The Prom Center) in Oakdale.
Please direct gifts and memorials to the GoFundMe account set up to support Derek and Nancy Baker’s children.
Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of Hudson.
Nancy we are so very saddened to hear of Derek’s passing. Derek was an amazing man, friend & father and will be greatly missed. Please know you and your family our in our thoughts and prayers.
Nancy, So sorry for your loss. Can’t imagine the world without Derek. Wish I could be there. Thinking about you from India
Sending deepest sympathy. How sad for all Before I retired 2/2012, I worked occasionally with Derek as we were in the same 3M division. I will be out of state, regrettably, & will not be able to attend Derek’s service.
Derek touched many, and not the least us who had the honor of getting to know him first through work then on a more personal level. All the laughs, all the good times, all the “that’s how I roll” replies he stated. The proffesionalism he shown turning in to work mode – the laidback approach after workinghours. Good times we had indeed, and I miss him dearly. My deepest sympathy and thoughts goes to Derek’s closest family.
I was so sad to hear the news. Derek was beloved by all and he touched so many lives. It is hard to believe he is gone, though I feel so blessed for having known him.
I met Derek at 3M he was extremely impressive professionaly. Kind to everyone he met and so much fun. He really lived life to the fullest. During our conversations it was obvious he had a lit of love for his family. His passing is a huge loss and I’m so sorry he was taken far too early.
The only time i met Derek was at the Global techs. He was a super helpful personality and willing to share his best experiences. His knowledge about the subject was profound. Like all say, good people are needed in heaven more than with us. May god give you the courage to bear this loss. My prayers and thoughts from Dubai.
I have been the principal for Nancy and Derek’s amazing children at both Lake Elmo Elementary and Oak-Land Junior High. Derek’s passing is devastating to our closely connected community and my heart is broken for the entire Baker family. Derek’s positive attitude, sense of humor and fun grin was something I looked forwarded to at school functions. He was willing to help in any capacity, I could always count on Derek. I cannot put into words how much he will be missed.
Nancy, our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Derek’s candle burned bright, and he was a guiding light for many in family, work, friendship, and play.
From a 3M colleague an ancient prayer – Eternal rest grant unto Derek, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
Derek will be truly missed. His love of life and family was his mantra. Derek was a joy to work with. His easy going personality was infectious……..a real team player. Prayers to the family, such a loss.
We deeply regret the passing of Derek Baker. We worked together for many years and became very close, we considered Derek as our true friend. Always very helpful, generous, including, fun and with a smile on his face. He created unforgettable memories. Our thoughts go to Nancy, L Derek, Allyssa and Spencer who we had the joy to meet with, several times. We will miss him immensely… Marcus & Carina
We were very sorry to hear about Derek. You guys were the first ones to welcome us into the neighbor back in 2005.. Remembering all the fun times we had together.. We will always remember Seeing Derek with a smile on his face.. Whenever I would see him when I was walking the dog or getting the mail he would always take the time to chat & catch up on things happening with us.. We know that he truly loved being with his family.. Sending our thoughts & prayers to Nancy, Allyssa & Spencer..
Nancy, We are so sorry about your loss. Derek was such a fun guy and we are so glad we had a chance to know him. We hate to admit it but he was by far the better man than Ben at pull-ups on the golf course awning. Peace and love to you and your family.
I just found this cherishing memories postings. Even it has been a few months after but still he is very clear on my memory. I hope Nancy and Derk’s family is being well as Derek may wish in heaven. I am still imagining having a beer with him after work though.
hi its grand-daughter raelyn i miss my papa so much