Sister M. deRicci Baker

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  • "Sr. Dericci was my first grade teacher and you never forget..."
    - Joohn Whalen
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Sister M. deRicci Baker, I.H.M., of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born on Feb. 9, 1922, in Altoona, Pa., and given the name Rita. She was the daughter of the late Leo A. and Grace Noel Baker. She entered the I.H.M. Congregation on Sept. 8, 1941, and made her temporary profession of vows on May 10, 1944, and her final profession of vows on Aug. 2, 1947.

Sister deRicci served as a teacher at the following schools: St. John's Elementary School in Scranton, Pa., from 1944 to 1945; St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, Pa., from 1946 to 1947; St. Mary of the Mount Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pa., from 1947 to 1953 and 1968 to 1971; St. Mary/St. John/St. Aloysius Elementary School in Cresson, Pa., from 1953 to 1958 and 1961 to 1963; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, Conn., from 1958 to 1961; St. Joseph's Elementary School in Danville, Pa., from 1963 to 1968; St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1971 to 1976; St. John the Baptist Elementary School in Bellefonte, Pa., from 1978 to 1983; St. Rosalia Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pa., from 1983 to 1987; and St. Rita Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., from 1987 to 1989. She was librarian at Cathedral High School in New York, N.Y., from 1989 to 1990. Sister served as principal at St. Mary's Elementary School in Hollidaysburg, Pa., from 1976 to 1977. She also served on the office staff at Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale, Pa., from 1990 to 1994; director of religious education at St. Agnes Parish in Forest City, Pa., from 1994 to 1995; coordinator of transportation at the I.H.M. Center in Scranton, Pa., from 1994 to 1997; and staff member at the Marian Convent in Scranton, Pa., from 1997 to 2000. From 2000 until the time of her death, Sister deRicci served as a prayer minister at Cathedral Convent, Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Marywood College.

She was also preceded in death by six brothers, John, Joseph, Paul, Leo, Melvin and Eugene; and two sisters, Mary Plazek and Janet Baker.

She is survived by a brother, Robert, Cresson, Pa.; three sisters, Grace Grover, Madison, Ohio; Margaret Janssen, Tucson, Ariz.; and Sister M. Gracette Baker, I.H.M., Scranton; nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Friday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton.

Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Thursday, Jan. 10, between 3 and 6 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4. Interment will follow Mass on Friday at St. Catherine's Cemetery in Moscow, Pa.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired I.H.M. Sisters c/o the I.H.M. Sisters Retirement Fund, I.H.M. Center, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.
Published in Scranton Times on Jan. 8, 2013