Bruce “Duke” Baker ’75

Bruce Albert “Duke” Baker, 67, passed away peacefully at his home on Hilton Head Island on November 24, 2020 with his loving wife, Theresa, by his side. Even though he lived strong for over twenty years with heart failure, he succumbed finally to a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Duke was born February 26, 1953 in Nyack, New York to Albert and Sally Baker. The oldest of three children, he grew up in South Glenn’s Falls, NY, where he was the high school quarterback. He moved to North Carolina for college and to play football at Davidson College.

After college, he married Theresa and went to the University of Tennessee for Dental School. They resided in Knoxville, TN where he practiced General Dentistry for five years before moving to attend a residency in Orthodontics at St. Louis University.

Upon graduation, they settled in Evansville, Indiana where Duke began his Orthodontic career. He practiced 19 years there and an additional 10 years on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Dr. “Duke” was truly one of a kind and anyone who knew him was better off for it. He was married to his sweetheart, Theresa, for over 44 years. He was most well known for creating beautiful smiles as an Orthodontist in Evansville, Indiana and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Dr. Duke was loved by his patients and team members over the years for his generous and caring heart.

Outside the office, Duke was an avid golfer and especially enjoyed walking the golf course while playing. He also enjoyed working with his hands, not only in Orthodontics, but by building bookcases and other woodwork. In addition, he could often be heard playing the piano at home. Duke and Theresa enjoyed traveling with friends and also with their sons and their families.

Duke is survived by his wife, Theresa Baker; sons, Matt (Brooke) of Sarasota, FL, Andy of Charlotte, NC, and Chris (Brooke) of Cary, NC; mother, Sally Baker; brother, Steven (Susan) and sister, Patty Johnson. Duke will be greatly missed by his grandchildren, Reagan, Cole, Cooper, and Cruz, as well as his three nieces and nephew. He is proceeded in death by his Father, Albert Baker.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, December 5 at 11:30 am at St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Medical University of South Carolina Heart and Vascular Center to further research and care on heart transplants and congenital heart disease at

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