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Rena Baker Paterson

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Rena Baker Paterson Obituary
Rena Baker Paterson

Rena Baker Paterson, age 76, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2013 after her battle with lung cancer, at her home in Eagle, Colorado. She was surrounded by her loving family and her adopted companion, "Peppy." Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, she had a terrific childhood. She proudly graduated from Garfield High School. She then graduated, with honors, from the University of Washington, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree. At the University of Washington, she was treasurer of her freshman class, a member of Gamma Phi Sorority and the "Silver Fishes" swim team. After graduation, she practiced dental hygiene for 50 years. Her work, her colleagues and her patients gave her great pride and joy.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas M. Paterson of 21 years. Rena's first husband, Theodore Roodner, predeceased her in June, 1971. Rena is also survived by her three daughters and sons-in law, Elizabeth and Bill Murphy of Oakland, California, Kristin and Steve Bunner of Oakland, California, and Linda and Joe Tierney of Eagle, Colorado. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Madeleine and Tommy Murphy, Brandon and Ryan Bunner and Weston and Michael Tierney, her two sisters and their husbands, Eleanor and James Merz of Kent, Washington and Mary Louise and Jay Conte of Bellevue, Washington, and seven nieces and nephews, all residing in the greater Seattle area.

During her childhood, Rena, her two sisters and their mother (Helen) spent five summers at the Baker family farm in Willsboro, New York on Lake Champlain. This large farm was later donated to Cornell University for post-graduate research projects. Rena's father (Vaughn) instilled in her a lifelong enthusiasm for travel. Her first big adventure was biking throughout England and Europe at the age of 19, where she met her first husband, Ted.

Rena's favorite hobbies were book club, bridge, tennis, and golf. Tom and Rena were docents of the Oakland Zoo. During their 21 years together, they were able to take two long cruises each year and traveled to see the marvels of the world and every continent.

Rena was grateful for her rich life and especially for her beautiful and loving family and friends. She relished the time she spent with her grandchildren-they were her special joy.

A celebration of Rena's life will be held at the Oakland Zoo in February.
Published in The Seattle Times on Jan. 6, 2014
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