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November 21, 2019

David R. Baker

David R. Baker, age 76 of New Glarus, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, November 18, 2019, at his home. He was born on April 6, 1943 near Lodi, WI, the son of Russell and Byrdene (Treinen) Baker.

Dave attended a rural Lodi country school until his family moved to a farm near Monticello in the spring of 1952. He graduated from Monticello High School in 1961, and then went on to earn a cheesemaker's license from the University of Wisconsin. Dave worked at the Deppler Cheese Factory and also at the Babcock Hall Dairy. On May 9, 1964, he was united in marriage to Mary Siegenthaler and their union produced two sons, David Russell Jr. and James Michael. Dave then worked as a route delivery driver for Borden's in Madison until he started working in the auto sales industry. Dave worked in car dealerships for the next 32 years, working for Hults, Thorstad, and Kayser until he fulfilled a life-long dream with the purchase of the former Klusendorf dealership in Dodgeville in 1985. Dave owned and operated Dave Baker Chevrolet-Buick-Geo, Inc. until 1996, when health issues necessitated a change. Dave then drove school bus for the New Glarus School District and was the bookkeeper for the freshman boys basketball team. He was always an avid sports fan, following the Wisconsin and local school sports teams. Dave also enjoyed reading, playing Euchre, fishing, and cars.

Dave is survived by his wife, Mary; sons, Dave (Kelly) Baker Jr. and James (Cristi) Baker; grandchildren, Kahla, Kassi, Allison and Dylan; siblings, Eleanor (David) Smith, Joanne (Richard) Smith, Daniel (Merida) Baker and Bonnie Wagner. He is further survived by Mary's siblings, Carol (Louis) Schultz, LeRoy Siegenthaler, Linda (Dennis) Thoman, Glenda Thoman, Ralph Siegenthaler, Kathleen (Mitch) Lindgren, Evelyn Thoman, Lyle (Kate) Siegenthaler, Christine (Tom) Wenger, Elaine (Tim) Maney and Duane (Brenda) Siegenthaler; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Glenn and Elizabeth Siegenthaler.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 338 S. Harrison Street, Belleville, WI, with the Rev. Michael Moon officiating. Burial will be in the Swiss Cemetery, New Glarus. A visitation will precede the mass from 10:30 a.m. until time of services on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Belleville.

The Zentner-Beal Funeral Home of New Glarus is assisting the family.

An online memorial with guestbook is available at


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