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Beatrice Massey Baker

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DUMMERSTON -- Beatrice Massey Baker died peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003, at her home, Willowbrook Farm, in East Dummerston.

She was born in Brattleboro on Sept. 7, 1905, the daughter of Louis P. and Ruby (Stockwell) Massey.

She attended Canal Street School and graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1923.

Mrs. Baker was a direct descendant of William Stockwell, who immigrated to Ipswich, Mass., from Scotland in 1680, and of Jonas Stockwell who settled in Brattleboro in 1772, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Her grandfather, Franklin Stockwell, fought in the Civil War, 4th Vermont Regiment, and had his horse shot out from under him at Spotsylvania Courthouse. His sword and saddle are at the Windham Historical Society.

On Feb. 6, 1928, she married James F. Baker. He died Nov. 3, 1990.

Mrs. Baker is survived by three sons, Stephen E. Baker of Brattleboro, Dr. Dudley M. Baker of Bennington and Dennis J. Baker of Dummerston; seven grandsons; three granddaughters, five great-grandsons and four great- granddaughters.

She was predeceased by a brother, Gordon L. Massey.

Mrs. Baker was an assistant to Howard Rice, publisher of the Brattleboro Reformer from 1923-30. Her civic interests included the Brattleboro Women’s Club and the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and she had many fond memories of decorating the hospital for the holidays.

Her other interests included 18th century furniture and portraits, gardening and Brattleboro history. She had a remarkable knowledge of Brattleboro’s business community and thoroughly enjoyed Sunday evenings telling about the olden days to three younger generations. As an 80th-year graduate of Brattleboro High School, she was highly amused this year to be invited to participate in the alumni golf tournament. Mrs. Baker was always energized by visits and calls from her seven grandsons, three granddaughters, five great grandsons and four great granddaughters.

Services for Beatrice Massey Baker were conducted Friday, Jan. 2, 2004 at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. The Rev. William Sheehan, O.M.I. of Lowell, Mass., former pastor of St. Michael’s Church, officiated, assisted by the Rev. Stanley Deresienski, S.S.E., pastor of St. Michael’s Church.

Music for the service was under the direction of organist Constance Wallin, who offered the opening hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

The pall was placed on the casket by John Baker, a grandson, and Ian Baker and Morgan Baker, both great-grandsons.

The Old Testament scripture reading from the Book of Proverbs was read by James Baker II, a grandson. Mrs. Baker’s son, Dudley Baker, offered the second reading from St. Francis of Assisi, which was followed by the gospel reading from the Book of St. Matthew, read by the Rev. Sheehan. A poem titled “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Cry” was read by Christopher Baker, a grandson.

Special music for communion included soloist Elizabeth Baker, a granddaughter, singing “Ave Maria.”

Words of remembrance were offered by Mrs. Baker’s son, Stephen Baker, who spoke of his mother’s pioneering spirit, her talents as an accomplished, self-taught interior decorator and gardener, and the extraordinary homemaker she was for her family.

Burial followed in the Baker family lot in St. Michael’s Parish Cemetery where the Rev. Sheehan offered the prayers of committal

Serving as pallbearers were Christopher Baker, James Baker II and John Baker, all grandsons, Christopher Baker and William Baker, both great-grandsons, and William Nege, a nephew.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atamaniuk Funeral Home.
Published in Bennington Banner on Feb. 17, 2004
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