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Services for Martha Jean Baker, 92, will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 14 at Gundrum Funeral Home.
She died at 2:35 am on Monday, April 9 at Lincolnshire Memory Care Center in Sycamore, IL.
Born July 7, 1925 in Logansport, she was the daughter of Charles Bronson and Alethea Mae Steffey. On April 7, she was married to the love of her life, Russell Arthur Baker who preceded her in death on August 2, 2003. Moving to their home in the country, she learned to embrace and thrive in a farming community. It is difficult to talk about Martha without including Russell because they truly did life together.
Russell farmed with his 2 brothers for many years and because of her bookkeeping skills, she kept the records and helped in other ways as well. She and Russell were very active in many local, county, state and national Farm Bureau events. In 1958 she began working for the Farm Bureau – first in insurance and then later in the accounting department of the Co-op and eventually for the Credit Union, where she was manager until she retired in 1991. Russell was a member of the Credit Union Board for 25 years. In 1959, Martha won first place for the speech she gave entitled “The Bridge of Understanding” at the Indiana Farm Bureau State Women’s Conference.
Together they helped organize Farming in the Classroom events and helped begin the Safety Camp for fourth graders in Cass County. They helped design and build Farm Bureau floats for the State Fair and local parades. Because of Farm Bureau, they became interested in county government and attended many meetings together. In 2002, they were honored by the Cooperative Extension Service as “Friends of Extension.” They made many friends through Farm Bureau and enjoyed travelling together on several group trips (that Russell earned) to various states.
They were life-long members of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church and served in the church in several ways. Martha was choir director and a Sunday School teacher. Their closest friends were fellow church members and they made many great memories as the families did life together.
Martha was an excellent student and her love of music developed in school at Logansport High School where she played first violin in the orchestra and later provided solos at church and other events. She also loved reading, attending theater performances, and camping trips with Russell. They both loved spending time with members of the Baker, Steffey and Hall families, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Surviving family members include daughter Lynne Ellen Sell (Duane) of Huntley, IL; son Mark Alan Baker (Carol), Monticello; three grandsons, Jeffrey Alan Baker (Mary) and Mark Bradley (Shalan) in Cass County; Brian Scott Sell (Kathi), Sycamore, IL; two granddaughters Karen (Aaron) McNeal of Auburn, AL; Krishanna (Joey) Shilling Logansport, IN; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Her brother Charles D. Steffey; sister Frances Hall and one granddaughter, Robin Michelle Baker preceded her in death.
Nephew and missionary, Charles (Chuck) Hall will officiate the service. Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Friends may call in advance of the funeral at Gundrum Funeral Home after 10 am until the service begins at 1:00 pm. Per Martha’s request, please feel free to dress in bright colors as we celebrate the homegoing of our loved one.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to SEND International (Japan), a mission based in Farmington, MI, in which several family members are involved, or to the charity of your choice in memory of Martha.