Mary York Reidy Baker
Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Mary York Baker passed away at home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, on September 4, 2021, after a long illness.
Born in Manhattan on August 3, 1939, she was the only child of the late Marian Lochen Reidy and Maurice Prendergast Reidy. Known as York, she spent her childhood in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. She graduated from Manhattanville College in 1960 and attended Georgetown University as a graduate fellow in European History.
After graduation, York began a twenty-year career with Business International Inc., a publishing and advisory firm dedicated to assisting American companies in operating abroad. While at BI, she authored a research paper, Organizing the Worldwide Corporation.
In 1968, York and Frederick Lloyd Baker, III, were married at St. Thomas More Church in New York. Two years later they moved to Tokyo where their first two children were born. While in Tokyo, in addition to her professional activities, York served on the board of the Tokyo American Club and authored the club's successful cookbook series, In a Tokyo Kitchen.
Returning to the U.S. in 1974, the Bakers resided in Riverside, where York took on a robust agenda of volunteerism. She served as the VP of Finance for the Greenwich YWCA, chairman of Hotline, president of the Riverside School PTA, and member of the United Way Finance Committee.
A surprise move back to Tokyo in 1983 shook things up for York. She put her talent and business experience to work by co-founding Tokyo Orientations, with friends. Tokyo Orientations is a relocation consulting firm supporting expatriates of multinational corporations in their moves to and from Japan. Even with the success of her business, York continued her dedication to volunteerism, becoming a trustee of the American School in Japan, which her children attended, and president of its PTA. She also rejoined the board of the Tokyo American Club.
After returning to Greenwich in 1989, York spent eighteen years in development at the Bruce Museum. Her tenure as Director of Development saw significant growth to the Museum's endowment as well as its cultural reach. Her achievements were recognized in 2006 when she won the YWCA's BRAVA award for women's commitments to philanthropy and community service.
After retiring from the Bruce, York returned to volunteerism, becoming a member of the Flinn Gallery, the non-profit exhibition space at Greenwich Library, where she volunteered from 2007 until 2021.
In the past twenty years York and Fred spent many leisure days in their vacation home in Vermont where they enjoyed skiing, hiking and entertaining family and friends. They were usually accompanied by one of a series of pet rescue dogs which they adopted.
In addition to her husband, York is survived by two sons and a daughter and their spouses. They are Frederick Baker and Kerry Nolan of Brooklyn; Marian and Jason McNaughton of San Francisco; Tim Baker and Nina Ercklentz of Old Greenwich. She is also survived by seven beloved grandchildren, whose visits York cherished: Laurel and Fian Baker of Miami; Whitney, Kelly, and Matthew McNaughton of San Francisco; Reese and Brooks Baker of Old Greenwich.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bruce the Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT, 06830; or Stowe Land Trust, Stowe, VT, 05672.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Riverside, CT on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.
Online condolences may be left at www.leopgallaghergreenwich.com
Published by Greenwich Time on Sep. 6, 2021.