Awilda Baker passed away early Friday, July 15, 2011, at The Homestead of Sherman Nursing Home where she has resided the past 2 ½ years. Family visitation will be at Dannel Funeral Home at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. A private family burial will take place earlier.
Awilda was born in Waco, Texas on May 22, 1922, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.I. Norris. She attended school in Waco, and later married Herman Baker on Sept. 28, 1941. Awilda and Herman came to Sherman in 1952 to open a new business, Baker Wholesale Company. In addition to working with Herman in his business, Awilda was a busy homemaker and actively involved in school, church, clubs, and the community.
Awilda was a long time member of First Baptist Church in Sherman. She presided as PTA President at Wakefield Elementary, Piner Junior High, and Sherman High School, receiving a PTA life membership from Wakefield. In 1970, Mrs. Baker was one of three Sherman Service League women to serve on the Steering Committee to organize the Girl's Club. She was also instrumental in the development of the Sherman Tutorial & Education Programs (STEP), serving as director of that program in 1973. During this time, Awilda was an active volunteer with the Wilson N. Jones Pink Ladies as well.
Awilda was a member of the Sherman Business & Professional Women's Club, serving as President in 1967-68. She organized the NIKE Club at Sherman High School in 1969, for junior and senior girls with career ambitions. After her children were grown and married, Awilda developed career ambitions of her own. She had the Lyon House Antiques on Crockett St. in the late seventies. Then she clothed the children of Sherman in the eighties at Awilda's Children's Clothing Store on Travis St. Many young mothers and grandmothers loved to shop at Awilda's.
As many of Awilda's friends and colleagues entered retirement, Awilda was still a busy lady. She served on the Child Welfare Board for many years and chaired the Sherman Arts Fest in 1988. Then she worked another ten years at Grayson College as facilitator for the S.A.V.E. program.
Awilda and Herman had a full and wonderful life together for 61 years. She was first and foremost devoted to Herman, her children & grandchildren. Unfortunately, after Herman's death in 2002, Awilda became burdened with Alzheimer's disease and slowly withdrew from her friends and active life. She will be missed by many friends and family.
Surviving family members are her children, Calvin Baker and wife Jan, and daughter, Judy Templeton. She leaves four grand-daughters, Princess, Christy, Carrie, and Casie. There are ten great-grandchildren and two great-great- grandchildren.
The family is forever grateful to all the caregivers at Homestead of Sherman.
In appreciation for the fine gift of care and devotion provided during her final days, donations may be made to Home Hospice of Grayson County, 505 W. Center St., Sherman, TX 75090-7827.
You may sign the online guestbook at www.dannelfuneralhome.com.