BAKER, James “Jim”
James Berton “Jim” Baker of Atlanta, GA died on February 12, 2022 at the age of 86. He was born on September 28, 1935 to the late Bernice and Bert Baker in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jim grew up in Phoenix, attended local schools and ran a small accounting firm with two of his college friends. He was a pitcher on the Arizona State University baseball team where he earned BA and MS degrees and later played semi-professional baseball.
Jim then joined Gillette Company and after completing their famous management training program, he was assigned to Paper Mate in Santa Monica, California. After working his way up to Assistant Controller, Jim left Gillette for a job at Coopers & Lybrand in Los Angeles. After extensive domestic travel as a CPA and then management consulting partner, Jim transferred to Atlanta in 1975 as Managing Partner of the Southeast region. Under Jim’s leadership, the region has doubled in size and Atlanta has established itself as a very strong office in a fiercely competitive market. Perhaps most importantly, throughout his illustrious business career, he actively mentored many young men and women.
While in Atlanta, Jim served on several community boards including CAP, Metro Crime Commission, United Way and Callenwold Fine Arts Center. For seventeen years Jim was chairman of the Fulton County Board of Health and for 23 years he was a member of Investments Unlimited, where he served for a time as chairman of the investment committee. Jim was a member of the Capital City Club for 35 years and was a member of the oldest political action committee in the state of Georgia.
Upon his retirement in 1987, Jim joined several corporate boards, resumed coaching several private company CEOs, and ran a psychological profiling business. In 1998, Jim became COO of TDRC, Inc., a national computer consulting firm. After the sale of TDRC in 2005, Jim began enjoying his full-time retirement spending time with his seven grandchildren and living in the vacation home he and his wife shared in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Jim was an avid reader of historical, fiction and biographical books while playing tennis, particularly with the Ole Boys Tennis Group.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Dotsie Berthold Baker, who was his soul mate and life partner for 34 years, his children Marin Wells (Dave) of Atlanta, Rick Bruce (Lauren) of Pawleys Island, SC, and Brian Baker of Sandy Springs, his daughter-in-law Karen Brabson Baker of Marietta, his sister, Judi Wendt (Mike) of Gilroy, CA, their children Matt and Melissa and their families. Jim was especially proud of his children who are the responsible, mature and loving parents of Patten (Laura) and Larkin Bruce of Charleston, SC, Kendall, Alec and Camden Baker and Ethan and Julia Gray Wells all of Atlanta and his great grandchild -son , Wyatt Bruce, of Charleston.
Jim will be missed and remembered by many, but particularly for his ability to teach his grandchildren life lessons at every opportunity and his business wisdom to many young associates. He was a true gentleman who enjoyed sharing the gifts God had blessed him with. The love and dedication he and Dotsie had for each other will serve as a shining example to his family and friends for many years to come.
A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta at noon this Saturday, February 19. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations may be made to Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Development Office, 1762 Clifton Road, Suite 1400, Atlanta, Georgia 30322.