An iconic and angelic woman of exemplary kindness has passed: Elaine Alvina Baker (née Stegner), age 89, on January 31, 2024, in Madeira, Ohio. Born on January 15, 1935, in Newport, Kentucky, Mrs. Baker graduated from Newport High School in 1954 and began a career of many years at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio as an assistant to several executives. On April 7th, 1962, she married Forester Calvin Baker in a union that lasted 50 years until Mr. Baker’s passing. A mother to two sons and one daughter, Mrs. Baker extended her love of children by working as a Sunday school teacher at First Church of Christ, Scientist in Newport, Kentucky, where she was active in various roles for about 70 years. She also held the position of Sunday School Superintendent for several terms. Later in life, she was overjoyed to provide weekly daycare for the church’s youngest attendees.
Eager to assist in her family’s needs, Mrs. Baker was a caregiver for a majority of her life, giving an extraordinary quality of life to her recipients. Her care was marked by unfailing love, empathy, and devotion. In the mid-1970s, Mrs. Baker tapped funds invested through her former employer, P&G, over her working years, to construct a room addition to the family house so her mother, in failing health, could receive her care. Mrs. Baker also gave of herself as a home-school instructor, facilitating her son’s education in the mid- to late-1980s.
Shy, yet drawn to social opportunities, Mrs. Baker enhanced her social outlets while in her 50s by accepting a part-time position at Kroger grocery stores, preparing and presenting foods for customer taste-testing.
Well-known in her family for playing the piano with her right-hand only (capturing melodies), Mrs. Baker frequently exuded musical joy, singing and dancing around the house. She expressed an immense affinity for certain types of music and instruments, as well as for favorite foods. She loved to listen to, and tell, stories, though her style of delivery was humble and loyal to the truth.
As a traditional "housewife," she prepared the family’s meals for decades while maintaining an immaculate house. She enjoyed caring for her dogs, Butch ("Roy") and Shirley. Although not a feline devotee, she was the primary caregiver for the family cat of 17 years. Mrs. Baker also delighted in wildlife that occupied her backyard, visible from her kitchen window. The adoration she expressed for the squirrels, raccoons, deer, ground hogs, and birds was as if they were human.
At the age of 80, Mrs. Baker survived triple-bypass heart surgery, which made for the first time she pursued medical treatment since age 36—when her last child was born—given her lifelong loyalty to Christian Science.
Mrs. Baker is best remembered by her family as a perfect woman, extraordinarily benevolent and compassionate, socially-polished, and self-sacrificing. She is survived by sons Kenneth and Barry Baker, nephews Gregory and Russell Hood, and great-niece Anasuya Jasmine Hood. She was preceded in death by her husband, Forester Calvin Baker, daughter Nancy Ann Baker, father William Stegner, mother and best friend Fannie Beatrice Stegner, sister Mary Hood, and nephew Stanton Hood.