Thinking of Kim Quirk Baker ’88

When I think of Kim I see her radiant smile, which is a nice way to remember someone. I was a sophomore when Kim started as a freshman in 1984 and it is such a joy to remember my time with her because she was always so positive and full of energy. She was witty, kind, and artistic. I remember that year around Thanksgiving she went up the hill and got work painting storefront windows for the holidays for money! I can’t imagine having the guts or the talent to do that, but that is the way she lived then and continued to live her life—upbeat and seeking new challenges undaunted.

Tiny and redheaded, she also became the coxswain for our crew team and led us to first place in the novice division of a headrace on the Willamette River.

I don’t think we ever saw each other again after Reed, but we shared the same birth date (a couple years apart) and we used to call each other once a year on that day and catch up. We lost touch, but I kept track of her through a network of mutual friends. She had moved back to Colorado, she had started a singing career, she lived in Gibraltar, she had a daughter, and she got sick.

Kim died earlier this year and I was very saddened by the news. She had a two-year old daughter, Victoria. Facebook is a funny thing—her page is still up, but now it is filled with lovely and heartfelt and sad messages about how much she is missed. It also contains this message:

People have been asking how to contribute to Victoria. Please send any contributions to the BBVA Compass Bank, 7375 Ralston Road, Arvada, Colorado 80002, made out to the Victoria Baker Trust Fund.

I honor her by helping her daughter, whom I’ve never met. Kim helped to make our time at Reed fun. She was a sweet person; I wish I could tell her that now.

—Greg Clarke ’88

Evanston, Illinois