Bertha “Bert” Elizabeth (Ramsey) Baker, age 95, of Evansville, IN, passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at home with her family by her side.
Bert was born October 7, 1926, in Evansville, IN.
Bert’s long life afforded her time for multiple chapters. The youngest child of William and Myrtle (Ashby) Ramsey, Bert was fortunate in that her father worked for the railroad throughout the depression. As a teenager she entered the work force as a riveter’s helper and as a blueprint runner in the Evansville Shipyards. (Bert’s contributions to the WWII local war effort can be read in Remembering WWII Women by Linda E. Minton.) She also worked at Kay Jewelry and Whirlpool.
In her 51 years of marriage to John Russell Baker, Bert worked raising their 13 children, which she referred to as “my greatest achievement.” In addition, she and John owned and operated the Tennessean Restaurant in downtown Evansville for the last eleven years of the restaurant’s existence.
When her children were grown, Bert pursued her passion for singing and dancing by taking classes in voice and dance and by performing in plays at the Evansville Civic and Repertory Theaters. She was also a member of the Evansville Philharmonic Choir and co-created and performed in a senior variety show for several years.
Bert also loved to travel and especially enjoyed her trips to Hawaii and Italy.
Bert was a woman of great tenacity and resilience. In her late teens, she converted to Catholicism and became a parishioner at St. Benedict Cathedral. Bert believed strongly in the importance of self-care and exercised regularly. She survived multiple cancers and various other health problems. Having dropped out of Central High School after her sophomore year, Bert decided, in the 1980’s, to finish her high school degree by attending day classes at Bosse, along with two of her teenage daughters. She learned to play the piano in her sixties, and her life-long curiosity for learning made her a regular at local libraries. In her final years, Bert struggled with losing her sight but persisted in utilizing the vision resources available to manage daily life, maintain independence, and continue learning.
Bert particularly treasured her relationship with Harold Petis. Her time and travels with Harold brought love and joy to her final chapter.
Bert enjoyed a full and active life with friends and family who will miss her great sense of humor and loving personality.
Bert is survived by her sons, John W. Baker of Atlanta, GA, Jerome C. Baker (Linda) of Indianapolis, IN, and Thomas C. Baker (Myriam Lauture) of Sanford, CT; daughters, Bernadette Zucker (Ted) of Louisville, KY, Kathryn Lutz (John David) of Evansville, IN, Jean Henderson (Jeff) of Evansville, IN, Mary Ann Connell of West Lafayette, IN, Teresa Joy (Richie) of Coeur d’Alene, ID, Elizabeth Hoak (Bill) of Evansville, IN, Leona Baker of Evansville, IN, Angela Maple (Mike) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Julie Baker (Roger Embry) of Evansville, IN; 29 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; nieces, Judy Jones, Pam Vann, and Susie Rothert; and nephew, Dennis Rothert.
Bert was predeceased by her husband, John Russell Baker, who passed away in 1996, son, Gregory Owen Baker, who passed away in 1997; parents, William and Myrtle Ramsey; sisters, June Hogfield and Exene Rothert; and nephew, Richard Rothert.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, May 2, 2022, at St. Benedict Cathedral, 1328 Lincoln Avenue, Evansville, IN, with Father Ted Tempel officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
Friends may visit from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., Sunday, May 1, 2022, at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel – A Family Tradition Funeral Home, 5330 Washington Avenue, Evansville, IN, with a Prayer Service at 5:30 p.m. Visitation will continue from 9:00 a.m. until 9:40 a.m., Monday, May 2, 2022, at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel before processing to St. Benedict Cathedral for her Mass of Christian Burial.
In lieu of flowers, Bert hopes for your support of Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation at 6270 Corporate Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46278 or Evansville Association for the Blind at 500 North 2nd Avenue, Evansville, IN 47710-2355.
Condolences may be made to the family online at boonefuneralhome.net
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