Jan. 27, 1954 - Dec. 17, 2019
Robert Baca left his family and friends long before he wanted. He still had places to go and lots to do, but weakened health closed this life chapter early on December 17, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. His family was by his side as Jesus took him home. The son of Jose Gabriel Baca and Dora Goldie (Boggs) Baca, Robert was born January 27, 1954, in the Ouray Miner’s Union Hospital which is now the Ouray Historical Society Museum. Rob (name still used by locals) graduated from Silverton High School in 1972. He excelled in high-school basketball and baseball and was an all-star letterman for both sports.
Baseball was Rob's first love, it came to him naturally. He participated in a baseball tryout and was invited to pursue a career with the Kansas City Royals. Rob chose to stay in the mountain home he loved to follow another passion ... putting smiles on faces and teaching athletic confidence to Silverton’s young people. He volunteered countless hours with the youth baseball and basketball programs.
Robert worked for many years in several of the local hard rock mines in the Silverton area. While working in the Idarado Mine he met his first wife Pam, and together they raised two children. An avid outdoorsman, Bob taught Silverton’s Hunter Safety classes through the Division of Wildlife for many years. He served as Silverton’s Police Chief for three years before the department combined with the Sheriff’s Office where Bob continued as a Deputy Sheriff several more years. He was especially fond of patrolling the high country BLM roads of the San Juans.
Bob never tired of his mountains and always found ways to return home or stay on the Western Slope. Bob’s other jobs included opening a hardware store in Silverton, becoming a snowplow driver for Durango CDOT, driving scenic tours with San Juan Adventure Jeep Tours, shuttling travelers with Telluride Express, and various delivery jobs. Bob loved sharing the historic stories of his life with all who would listen. It gave Bob great pleasure to use his professional and personal skills to help others enjoy the mountains he called home. Bob carried ore samples to give the rock hounds he met. He never tired of explaining to an excited tourist that their new found prize rock was Leverite…Leave her right where you found it!
Bob loved his family and valued every chance they were together. Foremost, Bob loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1992, Bob was baptized at Word of Life Fellowship in Silverton, and he sought to grow in his faith through the years. Bob gave thanks for every day he had on this earth.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father, and his sister Sharon (Baca) Peterson. Robert is survived by his brother Jerry Baca (Ann) of Dickens, Iowa, his son Michael Baca (Nicole), his daughter Theresa Baca. Bob did marry a second time, and many in the family will carry forward his “never give up” spirit. A memorial celebration is planned for Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Silverton, Colorado. Further details will be announced.