Before he was killed in a rock-climbing accident earlier this month in his native Utah, Stephen Baker built a law practice here with his grandmother in mind.
It was because of her that Baker, an attorney from Epsom who died on Sept. 3 while hiking with four of his six siblings, chose to represent seniors, helping them maneuver through the often complex and exploitative world of estate and Medicaid planning.
Baker, who was 38, died while rappelling in some of the remote canyons in Utah’s Zion National Park. He fell about 80 feet to his death during a 300-foot descent, according to two media reports that cited Alan Alldredge, the Kane County sheriff chief deputy.
Emergency personnel reached the area in a helicopter, but Baker was pronounced dead at the scene, the reports said. No further information was available at press time, and Alldredge did not return a pair of phone calls made to his office.
Baker was born and raised in Utah and became a devout member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, a local friend said. Biographies on his law practice website and a GoFundMe page, created to benefit his wife and two young sons, say he worked in the construction and mining industries before joining the Army National Guard, serving as a staff Sergeant.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in international business in Salt Lake City and moved here to attend the University of New Hampshire School of Law. He opened his own practice, called Safe Harbor, last year in Pembroke.
“I had the misfortune of watching my grandmother suffer through Alzheimer’s disease which eventually took her life,” Baker wrote on his law website. “Through that experience, I developed a passion for estate planning, elder law, guardianships and Medicaid planning. I have come to realize that through some simple planning, a lot of heartache can be avoided.”
The heartache in this instance occurred when news of Baker’s death spread through Pembroke and its surrounding towns. Baker began planning the…