Mary Elizabeth Baker, a retired financial worker who was active in her church, died of vascular dementia Wednesday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. She was 82 and had lived in Forest Hill and Gardenville.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Collington Avenue, she was the daughter of Luke McCusker, a railroad worker, and his wife, Eleanor Baxter. She attended St. Andrew’s School, where she met her future husband, George Baker, when they were in the third grade. She was a 1955 graduate of the Institute of Notre Dame.
She and her husband lived on Mannasota Avenue in Gardenville and later in Forest Hill.
Mrs. Baker worked at downtown Baltimore’s old First National Bank in its finance and payroll divisions.
She was active in the Roman Catholic Church, was a member of St. Ignatius Parish in Hickory and belonged to its Legion of Mary.
“She helped to clean the church and visited local nursing homes twice a week to share communion and hold sing-a-longs,” said her daughter, Rita Baker-Schmidt of Parkton. “Mary was known for her love of jokes and her joy in trying to tell them. She never passed up an opportunity to dance, especially if it was the chicken dance at a wedding. She also never met a baby she didn’t like.”
Her daughter said Mrs. Baker, while working at First National, would often spend her lunch hours at the University of Maryland Medical Center hospital rocking premature babies to comfort them.
“Friends will remember my mother as fun and sweet,” her daughter said. “Except when she played cards. She took that seriously.”
She enjoyed traveling to Ireland and Alaska and enjoyed celebrating family graduations, weddings and birthdays.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church in Parkton.
In addition to her daughter, survivors include a son, George M. Baker III of Baltimore; two other daughters, Margaret Rice of Mount Airy and Joan Welch of Ruckersville, Va.; a brother, Luke McCusker of Crownsville; a sister, Eleanor Boshuizen of Klamath Falls, Ore.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Her husband of 48 years, an accountant. died in 2005.