Mary Virginia Baker, an Estes Park resident beloved by her adoring family and numerous friends, passed away in Denver, Colo., on Sunday, April 13, 2008. She was born October 21, 1919 in Atchison, Kan. She was 88 years old. She was the mother of 12 children, grandmother of 37, great-grandmother of 65 and great-great-grandmother of six. Virginia’s family and her faith were the passions of her life. She presided over numerous family weddings, baptisms and reunions; always offering her unconditional love and support. Her friends and family will miss her dearly.
Virginia attended school in Ord, Neb. and graduated in 1973 from the Aims-Poudre School of Nursing in Fort Collins, Colo. She married Lyle Smith in 1935. She married United Methodist Rev. Henry Herschel Baker on June 9, 1974 in Fort Collins. Virginia was a charter board member for the Larimer County Visiting Nurses Association; member of the Red Cross; the first Colorado Governor’s Committee on the Status of Women; held offices in the local, district, and conference United Methodist Church groups and in 1994 she was the second person ever to receive the Francis Asbury Award at the annual conference meeting in Fort Collins. She was a member of the Aspen Club of Fort Collins; Coruscate Club of Fort Collins; United Methodist Women; League of Women voters; PEO, Estes Park chapter HZ.
Virginia is survived by her son, Wayne Smith of Fort Collins; daughter, Marilyn Emblen of Denver; the children of her marriage to Henry Baker, whom she loved as her own, daughter Virginia Martin of Saginaw, Mich.; son Jamie Baker of Pueblo, Colo.; daughter Shirley Bishop of Cheyenne, Wyo.; son Dick Baker of Montrose, Colo.; daughter Clara Walz of Prescott, Ariz.; son Robert Baker of Oakwood Hills, Ill.; son Denny Baker of Fort Collins, Colo.; and son Paul Baker of Casper, Wyo.
Virginia was preceded in death by her first husband; her beloved second husband, Rev. Henry Baker; brother Chester L. Weekes of Naples, Fla.; sister Dorothy Treadway of Independence, Kan.; sister Gladys Carden of Washington, D.C.; daughter Phyllis Purvis of Fort Collins, Colo.; Henry’s son Larry Baker of Colorado Springs, Colo.; two great-grandchildren, Wayne Johnson of Boulder, Colo. and Gabriel Nathan of Apple Valley, Minn.; step-mother Mary Weekes of Sparta, N.J.; and her parents Chester Lloyd and Jessie (Pickett) Weekes.
A memorial service was held at the United Methodist Church in Estes Park on Wednesday, April 16, 2008. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution in Virginia’s name may be made to: Rocky Mt. Conference U.M.C. Scholarship Fund, 6110 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Greenwood Village, Colo. 80111 or June Intergenerational Mission Trip to Louisiana, Arvada U.M.C., 6750 Carr St., Arvada, Colo. 80004. See www.allnutt.com to read Virginia’s obituary on-line and send a message to the family.