Warren G. Baker 1952 - 2020

Warren G. Baker, Chairman and CEO of Pharmatech Associates, beloved husband of Susan Baker (nee Blacklaw), devoted father of Stephanie (Chris) Sanders, Elizabeth (Kevin) Baker Smith, Kathryn Q. Baker, and Travis (Samantha Da Silva) Baker, passed away peacefully as a result of a stroke on August 3, 2020, in Portland, Oregon, with family by his side. He was 68. A longtime resident of McMinnville, Oregon, Warren was born in Bloomington, Illinois, the son of late Marjorie (Dick) and the late Warren Q. Baker. He grew up in Peoria, Illinois, with his brother, the late Dr. Steve Baker.

In addition to being a cherished father and husband of 41 years, Warren was a precious “Pops” to his grandchildren, Aubrey and Quentin; son-in-law to Marilyn Barton, and the late Gerald (Marlene) Blacklaw; brother-in-law to David (Tammy) Blacklaw; Ann (George) Karavitis; Brian (Kim) Blacklaw; and “Uncle Greg” to his many nieces and nephews, Brent and Tyler Baker, Nick (Michelle) Blacklaw, Joel Blacklaw, Victoria, Angeliki and Vasilios Karavitis, and Matthew and Payton Blacklaw.

Warren earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from Illinois College, later obtaining an Executive MBA from Stanford University, and embarked on a career in innovative healthcare technology while developing a deep understanding of diagnostic cardiology and other medical disciplines. He began his career with Beecham Laboratories and moved to Hewlett-Packard, where he excelled in sales roles within the Analytical and Medical Products groups. In 1985, Warren relocated to McMinnville, ultimately becoming the Worldwide Marketing Manager for the Diagnostic Cardiology Business Unit.

In 1995, as HP shifted its operations, Warren broadened his leadership and focus by joining colleagues to develop Pacific Northwest Networks, a startup ISP/enterprise engineering and security company. Warren later took his expertise beyond the border to provide leadership to burgeoning med-tech companies in Quebec, Canada, including ART, ElectroMed and iTech Medical.

Following his time in Canada, Warren returned stateside and joined Pharmatech in 2012 as a contractor. His business acumen and leadership capabilities were immediately apparent; after two years, Warren was approached to become Pharmatech’s CEO. Warren’s impact was felt instantly as he assembled a leadership team and cultivated a culture for the company that would grow the organization by harnessing its greatest asset, its people. His influence is felt and seen in every facet of the company today.

Warren was an early bird with the impossible task of navigating a family of night-owls. His morning wakeup routines were legendary, with repeated “I wanna hear your feet on the floor!” yelled to get all four kids (and wife) stirring. Driving lessons were disguised as late-night trips to Dairy Queen for his favorite Oreo Blizzard, shouting “CLUTCH!" just in time at stoplights.

Warren had a great sense of humor, and his signature crooked smile was always present when hitting you with a one-liner. He was a master of speeches and toasts and could bring a tear to your eye, then trigger a belly laugh two seconds later. His underlying message: Love deeply and follow your dreams. Dream big, make a plan, get there.

While his professional prowess was at the forefront of his personality, Warren “Bake” had a flair for fun and parties that gathered friends and coworkers together. He was famous for his large pig roasts, which originated in his high school days and continued for almost 50 years. He wore his enthusiasm proudly at special events, from the Yoda mask he arrived in for a “far-out” Mayor’s Charity Ball, to the #1 Elf sweater (with ears) he wore every Christmas, the jumbo orange Cat-in-the-Hat topper he wore to Giant’s games, and the dazzling zoot suit he donned for last year’s Roaring Twenties holiday party!

Warren had a love for being in nature. He instilled this early in his children, carrying two, front and back, through the mountains of Colorado, and three times hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, acting as “sherpa” for friends and family. Warren loved to explore the world; a love sparked by an early trip to Rome to visit his fiancée. He traveled the world and brought back souvenirs and stories for his family. His favorite spot to vacation was the family condo in Englewood, Florida, teaching his kids and grandchildren how to hunt for shark teeth on the beach.

His love of nature extended to all God’s creatures. His daily visitors included flocks of enthusiastic hummingbirds and families of deer who chose to rest in his flowerbeds. (The attempt at a pet racoon did not pan out well in his younger years!) He loved to spend his free time tinkering on his tractor, tending to his outdoor gallery of chainsaw art carvings and working around the hillside he called home.

A foodie at heart, he began a tradition for making pasta from scratch at Christmas and reignited a passion for baking held in his younger years, recently perfecting his homemade sourdough. He loved wine and music that got you up and moving, cultivating a favorite playlist that featured everything from Crash Test Dummies to Jimmy Buffett, with Elton John, the Beatles and Queen in heavy rotation.

His ever-present personality will be dearly missed, but the mark he left on those who knew him will endure. For the safety of his friends and family, in lieu of a ceremony, a public memorial tribute page has been created on Facebook at https://bit.ly/WGBaker or visit www.macyandson.com to leave online condolences. The family invites all to share photos, stories and messages in memory. A burial service will take place in Bloomington, Illinois, once conditions allow. Memorial donations can be made to the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, or the American Red Cross.