Born: Oct. 30, 1938; in Brockton, Mass.
Died: Feb. 15, 2011; in Huntley
Heidi G. Baker, age 72, of Sun City, Huntley, a former resident of West Chicago for 55 years, lost her short battle with cancer on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, at home, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born in Brockton, Mass., on Oct. 30, 1938, to William and Genevieve (Permantier) Gissel. Her family moved to Chicago early in her life, where she attended St. Michael's Catholic School in Old Town, followed by a move to West Chicago, where she graduated from St. Mary's Grade School in 1952 and from West Chicago High School in 1956. Heidi was united in marriage on Oct. 26, 1957, to Joseph Baker at St. Mary's Church in West Chicago.
Heidi had the most generous heart. She was a comfort to many, always responding to someone in need. She was shy and reserved at times, especially when it came to public speaking, but she was always willing to start a conversation with a stranger. She was always able to engage with anyone. She loved her family. A favorite memory of all family members, including nieces and nephews, was Christmas evenings at the Baker home.
A devoted mother and wife, she dedicated herself not only to her family and church but to numerous organizations. She led a life of service. Heidi was part of the Altar and Rosary Society, Catholic Daughters of America, and was a eucharistic minister. Besides serving as a volunteer at both the St. Vincent de Paul Society and at the West Chicago Terrace Nursing Home for many years, she also freely gave of her time and talents to many other organizations and charities. A devout Catholic who loved her faith, Heidi was a daily communicant. She was a member of St. Mary's Church in West Chicago and St Mary's Church in Huntley. She loved animals, and volunteered at the local animal shelter.
Heidi retired from Ameritech after 25 years, having perfect attendance for 20 of those years. In retirement, she enjoyed working part-time at St. Andrew's Golf and Country Club in West Chicago. Heidi was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and sister. She enjoyed traveling, having traveled through Europe as well as many road trips with Joe. She also enjoyed reading, stitchery, sewing and gardening. She was the best "baker" in town.
Heidi is survived by Joseph, her husband of 53 years, four sons, MSG Joseph (Elizabeth) III Baker of Ft. Stockton, Texas, David (Brenda) Baker of Oswego, Timothy (Susan) Baker of Geneva and Jude (Colleen) Baker of Wheaton; one daughter Courtney Baker of Huntley, seven grandchildren; Liam, Conor, Hannah, Isabella, Griffin, Megan and Benjamin; four siblings, Madeleine (Charles) Bartsch, Susan (Aldo) Bon, William (Annie) Gissel and John (Carrie) Gissel, and many loving nieces, nephews and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Thaddeus Gissel, her sister, Mary McChesney, a son, Paul Baker and two grandsons, Jacob and Joseph Baker.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday Feb. 20, at Norris-Walen-Segert Funeral Home, 132 Fremont St., West Chicago. Prayers will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 21, from the funeral home to St. Mary's Church, 164 N. Oakwood, West Chicago. Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in West Chicago. Contributions in Heidi's memory can be directed through the family to be donated to several of Heidi's favorite charities. For information, call 630-231-0060 or visit www.norriswalensegertfh.com.