SPRINGFIELD, Mo – Southwest Baptist University President Taylor released a statement sending his prayers to the family of the man who died in a plane crash Tuesday.

87-year-old, James Donald Baker, died of injuries suffered in a plane crash Tuesday morning near Bolivar, according to a Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman.

Trooper Jason Pace tells KOLR10 that James Donald Baker died at 10:38 a.m. at Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, 

He was the pilot of a 2007 Zenith 601 single-engine airplane that crashed at 9:18 a.m. at Silo Ridge Golf Course three-quarters of a mile south of the Bolivar Municipal Airport. 

Here is what President Taylor said in his statement to SBU faculty,

“Please keep the family of Dr. Don Baker in your prayers. Don was a retired faculty member and great supporter of the University who passed away Tuesday, May 22, from injuries sustained in a small-plane crash.

Don is the father-in-law of Mark Grabowski, director of safety and security, and grandfather of Jim Grabowski, development officer. His wife, Pat, is active in the University’s Alumni Association and 50-Year Club, and many of their family members have attended SBU.

Don was a dear friend of mine and of the University. He gave so much to the University as an employee and has continued giving to the University in any way possible.

Don was a 1950 graduate of Southwest Baptist College and retired from SBU in 1996 after 20 years of teaching. He joined the SBU faculty as the director of in-service training and associate professor of Christian ministries in 1976. He also served as public relations director at SBU from 1957-1966.

Please keep Pat, Mark, Jim and the rest of the family in your prayers. We all will miss Don terribly, but we know that he has gone on to his heavenly home.”