Patricia Lucille Baker-born July 9th, 1930 in Lima Ohio passed away peacefully on March 26th at the age of 83. Known as Pat to her friends and family, she married Forrest Baker in 1955 and their love endured for 58 wonderful years. As a young woman, Pat was fiercely independent and moved away from home to live in California with her Aunt. She took a job at Union Oil as a book keeper and worked at their main office in downtown LA. Pat cruised around town in her slick 1936 Ford Coupe that her father gave her. She loved that car and didn’t mind the holes in the floor boards since the weather in California was good most of the year.
Shortly after getting married, Pat and Forrest moved from a South Pasadena apartment to a brand new home in El Monte. It was here that they began to raise their family of five. Pat’s first son Phillip was born in November 1956, followed by Doug in October 1958 and then Dave in April 1960. Surrounded by so much testosterone, Pat decided she needed to bring some girls into the world. Her prayers were answered in March of 1962 with the birth of Diane followed by Nancy in January of 1964.
The Bakers never had a lot but they never went without. Pat had everything on a schedule and calculated every nickel and dime. She knew how to stretch everything from food, to clothes, to her time. None of her kids noticed that they were ever short of anything. She sewed and stitched; patched and bargain hunted.
Pat was famous amongst her family for her pie making abilities. Cherry, Apple, Pumpkin, Lemon Meringue, and Mince Meat were a few of the family favorites. If only Forrest could design a cutter that could divide the pie into seven equal segments so there was no bickering between the children!
When the Bakers traveled they piled all the kids in the car along with their camping gear. Pat always had a way of organizing the children, the food and the supplies. They camped in tents and later upgraded to a trailer. The Bakers took many memorable trips to Pismo, San Clemente, Dana Point and Grants Pass. The trips to San Clemente stuck out for Pat. Early on, she and Forrest planned to spend their future retirement in San Clemente.
Pat was known for her strength of character, calmness, and steadiness. With five kids she was always nursing someone back to health. When a tooth, arm, or finger was broken, Pat coolly wiped away the face full of tears and managed the pain. Even in crisis, the kids never thought Mom was rattled by the traumas and dramas. Pat kept the daily schedule as homemaker even after she went back to work full time at Montgomery Ward as a book keeper. She worked hard every day building a retirement plan and getting the children to college.
In 1987 Pat and Forrest sold their home of 32 years and moved to the home they worked so hard for in San Clemente-fulfilling their dream of beach retirement. They continued to travel by trailer and took many trips to Yellow Stone to fish almost every year.
The love and affection that Pat fostered in the home is still cultivated through her children’s lives. All five of the children have each been married more than 20 years. Pat was blessed with 10 beautiful and incredible grandchildren:
Christopher, Amanda, Steven, Lisa and Michael Baker
Daniel, Alison and Jenny Gyepes
Matthew and Eric Williams
Pat was always there for her kids, and as the grandchildren grew, she formed a strong bond with each one. Again, patience (and great pies) went a long way to win the love of the grandchildren who affectionately called her Nana.
Through her Catholic faith and mental resilience, Pat overcame many obstacles in her life. She survived every complication life threw her way, including Breast Cancer, Heart attack, Hysterectomy, bad knees, and Ovarian Cancer. Despite all odds, Pat continually fought and she always came back stronger. Finally one last undetected cancer ended the fight.
Patricia Baker leaves a legacy of love, strength, faith, and family. She will be dearly missed.
Flowers to the family are accepted and appreciated. In the place of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Orange County Ovarian Cancer Alliance http://www.ovarianoc.org/index2.html in the name of Patricia Baker. Thank you.