Michael Alan Baker died peacefully at home following a lengthy illness on November 3, 2020, in Houston, Texas. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, September 27, 1945 to the late Ethel Harman Baker and Richard Wilson. Mike’s siblings, with whom he enjoyed many family reunions, include: Swinford Wilson (deceased), Gay Jordan, and Richard Wilson. He is survived by a large, tight-knit family: son Dwight Alan Baker and his wife Sarah Sallis Baker and their children, Jackson and Evan Baker; daughter Emily Baker Amelio and her husband Gerardo Amelio and their children, Julian and Catalina Amelio; daughter Courtney Michele Baker and her partner, Jordan Gottberg; daughter Samantha Baker Najer and her husband Alon Najer; stepson Rory Shively; and, close family member Cullen Evans and his wife Roxy Evans and their children, Walker and August Evans. In the later years of his life, he enjoyed living with companion Julee Ireland and her daughter Sophee, in California.
Despite a difficult childhood and a lack of resources, Mike was a highly successful scholar and athlete throughout his life. He graduated from Waltrip High School, class of 1963, and then enrolled in the University of Houston with a track scholarship, specializing in the 10,000 meter run. He graduated with a degree in accounting from the University of Houston and went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center, where he served on the Law Review and graduated with honors. Throughout law school, Mike worked as an accountant and earned a C.P.A. During the Vietnam War, he was an attorney for the military in the JAG Corps. Following his time in the military, he joined Fulbright and Jaworski, LLP as an associate attorney. During the 1970’s and 80’s, he was an attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions at Browning Ferris Industries, traveling extensively throughout the world.
A venture capitalist and entrepreneur at heart, starting companies and “doing deals” was Mike’s life-long passion. With Notre Capital Ventures, Mike co-founded many companies and launched several IPOs, including Allwaste, Coach USA, and American Medical Response. Running was another of his passions, and he ran over forty-two marathons throughout his life, including the Boston marathon. Mike was a die-hard University of Houston fan and alum, and he devoted countless hours to the University as a booster, a donor, a law professor, and as President of the Alumni Association. An avid traveler and adventurer in his later years, Mike enjoyed listening to concerts and skiing at the Wolf Mountain Ski Resort, which he owned and developed during the 1990’s, relaxing at his ranch in Cancun, Mexico, and barging in France on his boat, the C’est La Vie.
To honor Mike’s memory, gifts can be made to the UH – Mike Baker Scholarship Fund at the University of Houston Foundation, which supports track scholarships at the University of Houston.
University of Houston Foundation
4543 Post Oak Place Suite 250
Houston, TX 77027