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Dorothy Jean Baker

February 12, 1928 May 1, 2021
Dorothy Jean Baker
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Obituary for Dorothy Jean Baker

Dorothy Jean (nee Walker) Baker was born February 12th, 1928, to Alonzo Walker and Aretta (nee Christy) Walker in Northern Pope County, Illinois. She received God’s promotion to eternal life on Saturday May 1st, 2021 at her residence in Swansea, Illinois.
Dorothy was the youngest of eight children and moved to Golconda with her family when her father was appointed City Constable on November 7th, 1933. Her dad was appointed Deputy Sheriff under Joe Shetler in 1934 and she, her parents, and sister Lela moved to the Sheriff’s Residence on the Courthouse Square. Over the coming years, she took full advantage of her new surroundings to roller skate on the sidewalks, read books in the shade of a tall tree, make her way along the “ledge”, or even play checkers with one of the jail inmates. In February of 1937, when flood waters were covering all the streets in downtown Golconda, her dad took her by john boat to “the town hill” in Golconda to get candy for her 9th birthday.
Dorothy attended school at the Golconda school from 1st grade through high school and graduated in 1946. She often talked about her best friends and how they would go for a Coke after school at Lou Ray’s. She thoroughly enjoyed being a “city girl” and was thankful for leaving the hardships of her parents’ farm at an early age. She loved and often spoke of many of her teachers and was also grateful for their influence on her appreciation for language and reading, which she maintained through her entire life.
During her high school years, she was acquainted with a young man a couple of classes ahead of her who claimed to have helped her with her math homework, but she claimed he did not! She and Milton Baker never dated in high school but that would change in a few years.
During her freshman year of high school her father was elected Pope County Sheriff and she began her career at the Pope County Courthouse as a Deputy Sheriff! Her career there would continue for the next 40 years.
In the Summer of 1946, her math tutor returned from two years in the Army and Dorothy was the first person he recognized when he arrived in Golconda, hitchhiking on the Bunny Bread truck. They spoke, she rather shyly, and that was the start of something big. She and Calvin Milton Baker were married in Metropolis by Reverend George Compton on October 19, 1947 with her sister, Lela (Walker) Brandt, and Lela Brown (Watson) as witnesses. This was the beginning of wonderful love story in which they shared their lives and professions for nearly 40 years.
In 1950 as her father’s term as Sheriff was ending, Milton was asked to run for County Clerk and was elected in November of 1950. Dorothy became Deputy County Clerk and her career at the courthouse with her father transitioned to a career with her husband. Milton was elected County Clerk a total of nine consecutive times and they worked together every day from 1950 until she retired in 1983.
Soon after their marriage they wanted to start a family, but that was not God’s plan for them. After several years they believed they would not be parents and settled into life as a couple. In the fall of 1962, Dorothy began to feel ill and both she and Milton feared for her health. Her doctor was able to easily diagnose the cause of her symptoms - she was going to have a baby. Jeffrey Walker Baker was born to the elated couple on April 16th, 1963. He was the joy and focus of their lives. In 1965 they moved to the home west of Golconda where the family lived for the next 20+ years.
Her church, First Baptist Golconda, was a focal point in her life and she supported it in many ways. She was the first person baptized in the new building in 1957. In her younger years, she taught Sunday School for the “junior” girls (junior and senior high school age) and then taught the “Willing Workers” class in the 40+ age group. She often spent several hours researching the lesson each week and made copious notes in the margins of her teacher’s guide. Dorothy further supported her church by agreeing to support Milton as he was ordained as a Deacon on January 12, 1975.
She was active for many years in the American Legion Auxiliary serving as president and vice-president, was a member of the Pope-Hardin Home Extension, was a member of the Pope County Parent Teachers Association, was a charter member of Pope County Republican Women’s Club, and served on “The White House Conference on Aging Committee”.
In 1985, just two years after her retirement and one year before Milton’s, Milton was diagnosed with colon cancer. They fought, as a couple, to overcome the disease and made many trips to Barnes hospital in St. Louis for treatment. After a fight of nearly three years the battle came to an end and Milton received God’s promotion to eternal life on October 17th, 1987, just two days short of their 40th wedding anniversary.
Dorothy went on to live and travel the country and globe, based out of Paducah, until 2006, when she moved to Grand Manor in Swansea, Illinois just minutes from Jeffrey and his family.
Dorothy enjoyed the many friendships she made at Grand Manor and being close to her grandchildren, Elizabeth, Victoria, and Joseph. She attended many “Grandparent Days” at their schools and was treated to many visits or outings for a meal, especially to her favorite “the IHOPs”.
While watching her grandchildren grow into young adults from just down the road, Dorothy remained her loving, independent, and energetic self until joining her Savior quickly and painlessly.
There will be a private committal service Friday, May 7th at Prospect Cemetery in the Hodgeville community. A celebration of Dorothy’s life reception and memorial service is planned for Saturday, July 10th in Golconda, details to come.
Dorothy is survived by her son, Jeffrey Walker Baker and wife Donna Marie Baker of Swansea, her grandchildren Elizabeth and Victoria Baker of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Joseph Baker, also of Swansea, and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and great friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin Milton Baker, her parents, and seven siblings, Nell Niles, Stella Atwood, Alma Hoffstetter, Alta Chamberlain, Lora Shelby, Alonzo Walker, and Lela Volle.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Collinsville, First Baptist Church Golconda, or American Cancer Society.

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Cemetery Details

Location

Prospect Final Resting Place

Trail of Tears Road
Golconda, IL 62938

Trail of Tears Road Golconda 62938 IL
United States
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