Jane Irene Baker of Hermiston, Oregon, died on January 18th at the age of 82. She was born on June 9th, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois, to parents Theodore and Bernice Jacobson.
Jane was an only child but was surrounded by many aunts and uncles. The family moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, where her father worked for a salmon canning company as an accountant. During WWII the family relocated to Seattle, Washington. At an early age Jane started riding the bus to church and made lifelong friends at church camps.
After finishing high school, she decided to attend Washington State University where she met Ronald Baker. Just 3½ years later she graduated with a dual major in home economics and science. The two were married at Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle on June 19th, 1955.
The couple moved to Hermiston, Oregon, where Ron worked for Doane’s Agriculture Service and Jane started her teaching career at Stanfield High School. Since Jane was still very young the principal requested that she wear high-heel shoes to help differentiate herself from the students.
“Farm Women On The Go” read the title from the national publication Farm Wife News in July 1972. Not a big surprise to those that knew her but a huge compliment to this city-bred now country girl. Jane was always involved in something from being a 4-H leader, Sunday school teacher, PEO member, substitute teacher, teaching cooking classes, mother of 5, wife and woman of faith — she always seemed to be on the go.
Both Ron and Jane are founding members of Hermiston Christian Center where in 1979 Jane became the first principal of the school. Throughout all of this Jane also worked at the family business of C & B Livestock. Jane continued to teach in her later years at Hermiston High School as the ESL teacher and tutoring many of the students. The book she enjoyed most was the Bible but after that was any cookbook she could get her hands on. She always said she liked reading them like novels.
She is survived by husband of 61 years Ronald Baker of Hermiston; daughter Sheila Banke and husband Dan of McMinnville, Ore.; daughter Colleen Williams and husband Randy of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; daughter Suzanne Coggings and husband Craig of Pittsburgh, Pa.; daughter Serena Beason and husband Jim of Denver, Colo.; son Ray Baker of Hermiston, Ore.; grandchildren Nathaniel (Lindsey), Caleb (Annie), Danielle (Jadon), Rachel, Abby, Hannah, Kennidy, Kambree and Kilee; and great-grandchildren Jude and Preston.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents.
In lieu of flowers or contributions the family asks that you pick up one of Jane’s favorite books (Bible or cookbook) and enjoy what’s inside with family or friends and think of her.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at the Hermiston Christian Center, 1825 W. Highland Ave., Hermiston, Ore.
Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.