David H. Baetkey

Born: Sun., May 23, 1943
Died: Thu., Dec. 3, 2009

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David H. Baetkey - a resident of Pendleton lost a three year battle with lung cancer on Thursday, December 3, 2009. He was 66 years old. A Service in memory of David Baetkey will be conducted at 1:00 PM on Sunday, December 13, 2009 at the Pendleton High School Auditorium in Pendleton, OR. Contributions in memory of David Baetkey may be made to the Aspire Program, or to the PHS Scholarship Fund, and may be sent in care of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, PO Box 489, Pendleton, OR 97801. View the full obituary or sign the register at www.burnsmortuary.com. Burns Mortuary of Pendleton was in charge of arrangements. David was born on May 23, 1943 in Minneapolis, MN to Henry and Ada Harpt Baetkey. He had one sister. David and his mother lived in Emmet, ID during the WWII, and then moved back to Minneapolis. They then moved to Alexandria, VA and to Portland, OR, during which time they made many visits to Emmet, ID, where they spent summers working on his grandmother's and uncle's fruit orchard. Here he learned to drive a tractor at the age of 7. David graduated from Parkrose High School in 1961. He played football, basketball and baseball for Parkrose. He then attended the University of Oregon, where he received his Bachelor's Degree. In 1968, he married Carol Stotler. The couple had a son, Lance David Baetkey in November of 1970. They separated and later divorced in 1990. David taught Social Science to Seniors at Caldwell High School in Idaho in 1968 - 1969. He also coached Freshman Football, JV Basketball, he was the assistant coach for the Varsity Basketball team, and he coached JV Baseball. David received a Master's Degree from Portland State University in 1970. He spent his spare time volunteering as Varsity Football coach for Parkrose High School while he attended Portland State. He taught Social Science to Junior and Senior students at Oregon City High School from 1970 - 1978. He coached JV Baseball at Oregon City High School for 5 years. He also coached American Legion Baseball. For a time, David stayed home to care for his son; at which time he became highly involved in Parkrose Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball, Youth Basketball. He coached Freshman Baseball for Parkrose High School for 1 year. At this time he authored an unpublished novel. He moved to Pendleton, Oregon in August of 1985. He taught Social Science to 7th, 8th and 9th graders at Pendleton Junior High School from 1985 - 1990. He began teaching at Pendleton High School in 1990, where he taught AP Government and American Government/Economics until his retirement in 2003. David coached Freshman Girls Basketball with Fern Oliver for 1 year, as well as coaching Freshman Baseball with Foster Odom for 1 year. He remained active as a member of the Pendleton School Board from 2004 until 2009, as well as volunteering his time at Pendleton High School with the Aspire program. David had shared his life with his companion Linda Simkovic since 1987. They shared a wonder life together, from being involved with grandchildren to traveling to many places. He had spent his free time with his grandchildren. He enjoyed reading, gardening and all types of yard work. He enjoyed attending all levels of sporting events, from professional to college, to sporting events of his children and grandchildren as well as his students. Mr. Baetkey is survived by his longtime companion Linda Simkovic of Pendleton, OR, son Lance and wife Kerri Baetkey of Novato, CA, stepsons; Tom and wife Gretchen Simkovic of Portland, OR, and Jon and wife Julie Simkovic of Milwaukie, OR, stepdaughter Michaele and husband Al Mays of Kelso, WA, his sister Mary Lu Baetkey of Portland, OR, as well as nine grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Ada Baetkey, and his ex-wife Carol.

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Susie Hall Nelson
   Posted Fri December 04, 2009
Mr. Beatkey was a wonderful teacher, my favorite actually. He inspired me to not settle for smaller things when I was capable of achieving much more. I have thought of him often and wish I would have been able to share where I ended up. Without knowing it, he had an impact on many important decisions I made later in life. I am now very blessed with a wonderful husband, 3 amazing children, a good job, and a nice home. I do give credit to Mr. Baetkey for influencing the way I think about things and for pressing me to challenge myself. I will be forever grateful. My heart goes out to you, his family. My thoughts are prayers are with you at this time.

Alisa M. Bounds-Wade aka Boundsy
   Posted Sat December 05, 2009
Mr. Baetkey holds a special place in my heart. I first met him when I was a seventh grader at Pendleton Junior High. Mr. Baetkey gave me the nickname "Boundsy" and it stuck with him and me and every other student at PJHS and PHS along with every other student he gave a name to. That and his teaching style will stick with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget Mr. Baetkey and his teaching style or his love of V-neck sweaters. One of my favorite non learning memories of Mr. Baetkey was the day that he told my class he had NEVER had pizza, I think every one of us couldnt believe that there was someone out there that had NOT had pizza- for a seventh grader this was just outrageous!

Carl Anderson
   Posted Sat December 05, 2009
Coming from a family of teachers, I have always held teachers in very high regard, especially the good ones. Mr. Baetkey was one of the best teachers I have ever had the privilege to be taught by, and I have been taught by many throughout college and beyond. I have done some teaching myself from time to time and Mr. Baetkey stood out as a role model to me. In any situation I was not sure how to handle, I would ask myself how Mr. Baetkey would handle it and go from there. His hopeful cynicism and dry wit not only made his classes enjoyable, but also challenged me to think and care in subtle yet profound ways. He lived upstairs from my grandmother for a while and I used to stop up and visit him from time to time well after I had graduated from high school. He always remained genuinely interested in what and how I and my classmates were doing and hoped we did well. He was an excellent teacher, and in my opinion a great man. He will be missed by me as I am sure he will be by many others. My condolences to his close friends and family. I am sorry you have had to experience such a loss.

Shannon O'Rourke McClellan
   Posted Sat December 05, 2009
Mr. Baetkey, to me, was a gentleman and a scholar. He was an outstanding teacher and now that I have become one, I can look back and see exactly how extraordinary he was at bringing out the best in his students. My heart is sad that we have lost him but I feel extremely blessed to have had him as an instructor of AP Government. I've never encountered anyone who didn't think he was worth his weight in gold and I can only hope to achieve the level of dedication he established.

Chuck James
   Posted Sat December 05, 2009
I have not seen Dave since our high school days at Parkrose. We were good friends then and I have thought of him often. I am proud to see the good thoughts by his former students. He must have been a great teacher. My most vivid memory of Dave was when we were about 15 and messing around in the living room of his parents house. I cannot remember why, but Dave took out a bottle of India Ink and was taking the lid off when the entire contents spilled on his carpet. He miraculously survived his mother's wrath.

Chanda Windham-Cross
   Posted Sun December 06, 2009
Mr. Baetkey was my favorite teacher, and is fondly remembered. He took an uncaring-seventh-grader and helped form her into a responsible member of society by high school. His heartfelt care for his students made a difference, and his memory will carry on for years to come. God bless.

Ray Wells
   Posted Mon December 07, 2009
I was in Mr. Baetkey's first period US history class, his first year in Pendleton. Since I got a nickname early on the first day of class, I guess I got his first student nickname in Pendleton. I was unfortunate to have missed out on his moving up to the high school. He was my favorite teacher at PJHS. I stopped in to visit him on trips home, from time to time, and he was always interested in what was going on in my life. It was probably easy to keep me inspired in history, but I saw him inspire others around me. I also know that he challenged my sister to achieve to her potential. He also was responsible for supervising my mother's teaching of special ed. government when she was a resource room teaching assistant, and was a strong mentor to her in that role. He will be missed!

Dianne Barnes
   Posted Mon December 07, 2009
My condolences to Linda. David and I were colleagues at Pendleton Junior High and Pendleton High School for the years he taught in Pendleton. He was an excellent teacher and also a leader of both students and teachers. I learned a lot about teaching and the teaching profession from David--much of this by his modeling of work ethic and attitude.

Matthew Barnes
   Posted Mon December 07, 2009
My condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr. Baetky. I was a student of his at Pendleton High School, and have many good memories of his class and teaching. One of my favorite teachers, he was inspiring and made the subject exciting. He is missed.

Melodi Hawkins Krol
   Posted Mon December 07, 2009
I was one of the lucky students to have David 2 years. One in Jr. High and then again in High School. He was one of my FAVORITE teachers! I am calling him David...instead of Mr.Baetky because he refused to call me by my first name and instead called me by my middle name which was Opal. As he smacked his pointer onto my desk and called me Opal, I'll never forget the smile on his face. I then in turn surprised him by calling him David...the look on his face was PRICELESS! Then another student decided to try it too, he was quick to inform that student that the only student allowed to call him David was Opal. He touched my life as a teacher, and I will never forget what a truly GREAT guy he was! My deep condolences to his family! Sincerely, Melodi Hawkins Krol

Tessa Teems
   Posted Mon December 07, 2009
I'm a very sorry for the loss of Mr. Baetkey. He was one of the most influential teachers I ever had. I graduated in 1993 and it felt like my class grew up with Mr. Baetkey as he taught us in 7,8, and 9 grade and again as seniors. He was tough but fair. To those he leaves behind, you are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

Ruth Jackson Eschenauer
   Posted Wed December 09, 2009
I just happened to see Mr. Baetkey's obit in the Oregonian and wondered if he was my old teacher. I knew it was him the moment I saw his picture - he had hardly changed! He was my teacher in either '72 or '73 at Oregon City high. I remember I was fond of skipping his mid-morning class to go have breakfast with my friends. He didn't say too much about it until he called me up one day and very calmly told me I would be getting a D if I didn't show up for every class until the end of the term. He was a pretty laid back guy but I knew he meant business. He was also saavy enough to know exactly the right way to get this rebellious little teenager's attention! I still sometimes have a dream where I panic that I am going to fail his class because I missed another day. God Bless You Mr. Baetkey.

Susan Anderson Patch
   Posted Wed December 09, 2009
I am sorry for your loss and was sad to hear that Dave has passed on. God bless you.

Larry P. Neville
   Posted Wed December 09, 2009
David & I were very good friends in high school and PSU. We used to spend evvery Saturday at "Sams Billiards" in Hollywood, shooting pool. I lost track of him after he moved out of the Portland area. I did speak with him shortly after his mom's passing. I told him I would look him up the next time I was in Pendelton, but it never happened. He was a great guy! I'm so sad I didn't see him this past year. Larry Neville

Jaime Kissner
   Posted Wed December 09, 2009
Mr. Baetkey was not only a great teacher, but a great man. There are no words to explain what an exceptional human being he was. I can only hope that one day my children will have a teacher like Mr. Baetkey. Someone who is fair, motivational, inspirational, intelligent, caring, honest, and memorable. RIP Mr. Beatkey...or I should say Mr. Buttkey i know you are smiling from one of your favorie Soccer Boys 1998

Bill Larson
   Posted Wed December 09, 2009
It seems like only yesterday we were playing ball and having good times, those were the GOOD old days....Cheers, Bill, Broncos, class of 63

Randy Nelsen
   Posted Thu March 25, 2010
Before David died I wrote a lengthy e-mail to him that has been read by family members. I recounted many memories drawn from our friendship which goes back to high school when he befriended me as a newcomer to the school district. I had many close friends at Parkrose Senior High but David was my best friend back then and we managed to maintain contact through the years while living far away from each other. Here I just wanted to make public how often I have thought about him over the past four months and just how much, on a daily basis, I miss his friendship. I especially miss his wonderful, cynical, and dry sense of humor. Simply put, I just felt better and the world was a better place when I knew David Henry was with us. Again, condolences to family and friends, and Happy Trails Brother David

Chris Petersen
   Posted Fri July 02, 2010
Mr. Baetkey was a major influence on my life, which is far better for having known him. I had always sort of felt like I cared about the vast and mysterious expanses beyond Pendleton, but his AP government class was the true catalyst for all subsequent attempts to understand the means by which this world works. I recall him as a man of style, dignity and tremendous good humor - the coiner of such classics as "Bay-hee Ledbetter" and "Feebler-than-most Joel." He is also the only person I've ever met whose handwriting was actually a font. I think of him often and am sad to learn that he has passed, far too young.

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