Born: June 02, 1918
Died: February 11, 2011
Dr. Mike Joseph Baba, 92, passed away Friday, February 11, 2011. He was born June 2, 1918 to Lebanese immigrant parents Joseph and Naema Baba at Rush Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada during the great flu epidemic. He survived it, which was a good testament to his survival capabilities. Born on the farm his father and mother homesteaded in 1910, where his parents were pioneers, he too lived the pioneer’s life. He was the 7th child of 8. At age 7 he went to country school doing chores before and after school. As a good student, Dr Mike skipped the 4th & 7th grades. There was no high school so he took his 9th-11th grades by correspondence. At 16 he finished the 11th grade and went to Bismarck, ND graduating in 1936. He moved to Wichita, KS to attend Wichita and Friends Universities for pre-dental studies. He decided at age 14 to be a dentist because he admired the dentist in his hometown. He graduated in 1943 from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Dentistry. After graduation with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, he volunteered in the Army and was received as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Dental Corp., and immediately became an American Citizen. He served in the U.S., volunteered 3 times overseas, transferred to the Army Air Force and went up the ranks to Major. He served 4 years active duty and 8 years in the reserve, earning the rank of Lt. Colonel. Returning from overseas in 1946 he set up his dental practice in Wichita and took great pride in being a pioneer and leader in preventive dentistry. He participated in research and development of the red stain tablet, which highlights unclean teeth. Dr. Baba authored the book Are They Really Clean and lectured extensively on dental prevention. As Chairman of the School Dental Health Education Committee, 73,000 dental kits were distributed to all Wichita school children. He was instrumental in founding the School of Dental Hygiene at Wichita State University. His fellow dentists honored him with the three highest honors in Dentistry; Fellow of American College of Dentists, Fellow of International College of Dentists and Dentist of the Year. Upon retirement at age 72, many of his patients thanked him for taking care of their dental needs and appreciated the fact “you cared”. In 1950 Dr. Mike met a registered nurse, Anna Mae L’Ecuyer, a patient, whom he married in 1952. She was without a doubt the “Love of his Life”. He was active in his church, serving 3 out of 4 years as Chairman of the Parish Council, during which the half-million dollar Parish hall was built, debt free. A hard worker, he always took time to enjoy family activities, golf, bowling, fishing with friends and flying. He knew how to be of help to others and knew how to appreciate life to the fullest. He thanked God every day for the talents that God had given him. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mae; children, Dr. Joseph (Jae) Baba, Wichita, Debbie Epperson, Overland Park, Cheryl (Jack) Baba Kellogg, Wichita, Lynelle (Greg) Pierce, Leawood; 7 grand-children, whom he loved very much and loved to be with, Logan & Collin Baba, Sara & Rachel Epperson, Kara Kellogg, Amanda & Natalie Pierce; sister Vicki (Bob) Poulos, San Jose, CA; his nieces and nephews. Visitation 12-5 PM Thursday, Culbertson-Smith Mortuary, 115 S. Seneca. Prayer Vigil 7 PM Thursday, February 17, 2011; funeral Mass 11 AM Friday, February 18, 2011 both at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 149 S. Millwood, Wichita. Memorial donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 and St. Joseph Catholic Church, 149 S. Millwood, Wichita, KS 67213. Entombment will be in Resurrection Cemetery Mausoleum, 1640 N. Maize Road, Wichita.