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1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
BAKER-CARR, Janet Died peacefully on July 16, 2016 in Sudbury, MA. She was 81 years old. Janet was born at her family home, Little Abbots, in Betchworth, Surrey, England on October 21, 1934 to Katharine "K" and Christopher "Kit" Baker-Carr. Janet lived in England until 1949. She loved the bucolic perfection of her childhood home until that reality was interrupted by the outbreak of WWII. Notably, more than one German heavy bomber emptied its remaining bombs on or near her home to lighten their cargo as they returned to their bases in Europe. She recalls with perfect clarity being taken up to the attic of her home one night; her mother pointed to a bright orange glow and said, "That's London burning, don't ever forget you saw it." And, she never did. Janet derived a great deal of inspiration from the Land Girls who – during WWII – took on many of the jobs and roles traditionally done by men. Some of these marvelous and bold women worked the land near her home. She credited the Land Girls with giving her the courage to do many things women had not traditionally done: She did these things with grace and elegance.Immediately following the war, she attended a term of boarding school at Le Chatelard in Les Avants, Switzerland. She vividly recalls the train journey through France and the devastating impact the war had on the landscape. In 1948, she and her mother moved to America to live with her maternal grandparents in Cambridge, MA. Janet enrolled at the Buckingham School and was actively involved in the drama program; to this day people recall with delight her magical performance in the roll of Peter Pan. Following graduation in 1953, Janet attended drama school in London. She returned to the United States and acted in a number of productions at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square. She began her long career in classical music broadcasting at the age of 15 in Boston on WXHR. As Music Director of WBAI in New York City, her pioneering interview program, Profiles in Music, featured world-class musicians and composers. The program was broadcast in New York, NY; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA. Recordings of these programs were given to the University of Southern Mississippi and are now a part of its music library.Janet was as resourceful as she was fearless. While working on special assignment with the BBC in London, she traveled briefly behind the Iron Curtain to East Germany. Stunningly beautiful and short of funds while living in London, she modeled for Vogue Magazine. The daughter of a race car driver, she owned the first Triumph TR-2 and Triumph TR-4 convertibles imported to the United States; and her home was always a safe haven for those needing care. Janet worked as the Assistant Director of the Institute of Arts Administration at Harvard University. Janet was passionate about the arts and while working at Harvard, she wrote Conflict in the Arts: The Relocation of Authority jointly authored with Doug Schwalbe (1977). Always curious, though she did not attend college, she earned her masters degree in education from Harvard in 1979. As a contributing editor of Harvard Magazine, Janet wrote regularly on the arts. In addition, she is the author of three books: Evening at Symphony: A Portrait of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1977); An Extravagance of Donkeys (2006); and A Small Green Halter (2010). In 1984, Janet and her husband, Herbert Agoos, moved to Highland Farm in East Andover, NH. Janet worked as the Director of Development at The Tilton School in Tilton, NH. She turned Highland Farm into a sanctuary for donkeys. Her sweet book, An Extravagance of Donkeys, is a collection of marvelous stories about her time on the farm. In the mid-1990's Janet moved to Jackson, MS to be closer to her daughter, Harriet Roberts. Janet was for five years Music Director of Public Radio in Mississippi, a network of nine stations – serving the entire state. She was on the air from six to midnight each weekday broadcasting classical music. Her interview program with conductors, soloists, dancers, and singers aired weekly on both TV and radio. In the late 1990's, Janet joined her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson when they moved to Memphis, TN. Janet was briefly a classical music announcer for WKNO-FM (Public Radio) in Memphis, TN. She delighted spending time with her grandson, Matthew and they shared a special and fun relationship. Janet returned to New England in 2008 to spend time with her daughter, Kate Baker-Carr. An explorer at heart, she often would announce to her daughters that she was going on an expedition; favorites included Iceland and Wrangle Island. When she became older she still sought adventure and drove her red PT Cruiser across the country to visit friends and family. She adored great books, she was always surrounded by animals (particularly donkeys and cats), she had a marvelous way with babies, and she was always ready for an adventure. She loved and was fiercely admiring of her two daughters and then, later, of her grandson. Janet had a wicked sense of humor and read the Sunday New York Times with great pleasure. Janet is survived by two daughters; Kate Baker-Carr (Brookline, MA), and Harriet Roberts (Memphis, TN); a sister, Sally Easton (Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, England); a son-in-law, Stephen Roberts (Memphis, TN) a grandson, Matthew Roberts (Memphis, TN); a step-sister, Sarah Edmonds Broley (Bedford, MA); and a number of nieces and nephews. She is also survived by three, dear childhood friends: Sue Ryan (St. Germier, France); Joan Gladstone (Boston, MA); and Franny Chilcote (Laguna Beach, CA). Her parents; her husband, Herbert Agoos (East Andover, NH); and her brother, Christopher Baker-Carr (Reims, France) predeceased her. Her daughters are grateful to the marvelous staff at Sudbury Pines Extended Care for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to (http://www.heifer.org) or the . A memorial service will be held in the fall both in Boston, MA and Memphis, TN. Dee Funeral Home of Concord 978-369-2030

View the online memorial for Janet BAKER-CARR
Published in The Boston Globe on July 17, 2016
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