On February 13, 2015, Eugene Ron Baker passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was only 44 years of age. He is survived by his wife, Margarethe, son Darius and daughter Kiara.
Capilano Seikidokan Judo Club is committing to contributing $500 per year for the next 8-10 years into the RESP fund for Darius and Kiara. We would appreciate any contribution from the members of Judo BC in the first year. There are no provisions for tax purposes.
Eugene started Judo in 1985 at the Creston Judo Club in Creston, BC. He practiced until 1990 when he developed serious health problems with a tumor which had to be removed. He returned to Judo in 1996 while attending Capilano College as a green belt. He was part of the start of the Capilano Seikidokan Judo Club in North Vancouver. He practiced with us for 2 years achieving his blue belt before leaving Judo again to pursue his career. He returned to us in 2002 and remained active with the Seikidokan Judo Club until his passing. He attained his black belt in June 2005.
He assisted at the club, coached at tournaments, refereed, acted as a director and was very involved at our tournament. I saw an extremely bright and talented guy and wanted him more involved in our tournament especially. I always saw him as my successor in running the tournament. He had been acting as tournament chairman for quite a few years and he was taking on more of a role in the planning as well. We worked very closely together. I was trying to involve him in all aspects so that he would eventually take over my role as Tournament Director.
Anyone who has attended our tournament, the Vancouver International will remember Eugene as the guy who was in charge of the draw sheets and the competition. He was the person to speak to if there was a problem. He handled his role as the tournament chairman very well. As the years went by he met Margarethe and of course got married and had Darius and then Kiara. He remained involved and was always a key member and friend as he assisted me in the tournament and the administration of the club as well. We also started to see more of him as Darius started judo. He would come on the mat to assist. I always appreciated his help. His work ethic and love and passion for judo were traits that we shared. I appreciated this but these traits were also strong reasons why we were friends as well. Having a family made him more relate-able to the other kids and families in the judo club. He got along with everyone and got along well with the parents. Being the head instructor and often the authority figure, I rely on assistants like Eugene to be able to relate to the kids and parents in a more personal way.
Yours in Judo,
Hiroshi Nishi, Head Sensei Capliano Seikidokan Judo Club