Robert Thomas Baca “Bobby” 1/27/25 – 11/3/14
Robert was called into the arms of God with his family by his side on November 3, 2014.
Robert, who was known as Bobby by family and friends, was born on January 27, 1925 in Socorro, New Mexico, to May Isabel and Thomas Baca. He attended both Catholic and public schools in Socorro and graduated from high school at the age of 17.
After graduation, Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He flew 45 bombing missions throughout the Pacific Theater in a B-24 Liberator. His flying troupe was known as the Bomber Barons.
After the war, Robert attended the University of Southern California before earning his law degree from Loyola Marymount University. He was a private practice attorney in East Los Angeles from 1957 to 1968, specializing in criminal defense. During this time, he married Marion (Scott) and they had three sons, Richard, Robert Jr. (Tom), and John. He was also active in political and civic organizations, serving as an early member of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) and a legal advisor for the G.I. Forum, a civil rights organization for Hispanic veterans.
In 1968, he took a job as a District Attorney in Merced County, before settling in Bakersfield in 1969, where he was the Chief Trial Attorney for the Kern County Public Defender’s Office. Robert always wanted to become a judge and in 1976 Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to the Kern County Municipal Court and ultimately to the Superior Court in 1979. He had a long and respected career on the bench and was re-elected in 1980 and 1986. He retired in 1992, but continued hearing cases in Kern County and other California jurisdictions until 2004.
Robert was a proud USC alumni and a huge USC football fan. With his wife’s patient guidance, he became a Christian in the late 1970’s. He regularly attended Heritage Bible Church, was active in the Bakersfield Christian Business Men’s Association, and helped organize many Bakersfield Prayer Breakfasts. He loved his hometown of Socorro, New Mexico and could proudly date his New Mexico lineage back to the Onate Expedition of 1598. He loved his wife, sons, daughters-in -law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.
Robert was preceded in death by his mother, May Isabel Baca, his father, Thomas Baca, his brother, Earnest Baca, his son, Arthur Baca, and his granddaughter, Genevieve Baca. He is survived by his wife, Marion Baca, his brother, Gilbert Eugene Baca (Bonnie), his sons, Richard Baca (Susan), Tom Baca (Cathy), and John Baca, his grandchildren, Richard Baca Jr, Nisa Baca, Taja Meadows (Cris), and Gabriel Baca, and his great-grandchildren, Marcus Baca, Stacey Baca, Eric Baca, Lynnea Escobedo, and Bronson Meadows.
We wish to thank Pacifica Senior Living for the personal care and service you gave to Robert during the last few months of his life, and San Joaquin Community Hospital for the loving care you gave to Robert during the last few days of his life. You made this difficult time easier to bear.
A memorial service with military honors will be held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 11 am at Heritage Bible Church, 2323 Mt Vernon Ave, Bakersfield, California, 93306, with a luncheon reception immediately following.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 11, 2014