Elizabeth Small Baker, 103, volunteer

November 13, 2005

Elizabeth "Lee" Small Baker, an avid volunteer and wife of an Episcopal clergyman, died Tuesday of natural causes at Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville. She was 103.

Born Elizabeth Small in York, Pa., she graduated from Oldfields School in Glencoe around 1919 and married Richard Henry Baker in 1926. He died in 1981.

They lived in Baltimore from 1931 to 1951 while her husband was the rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore. There she was her husband's "right-hand man," said her granddaughter Ellee Thompson of Cockeysville.

"She viewed being a minister's wife as a profession," she said. "She had no other job than volunteering."

She lived for about 10 years in Greensboro and Raleigh when her husband served as a bishop in North Carolina.

After her husband retired in 1961, they returned to Baltimore. In 1979, they moved into the Broadmead retirement community, Mrs. Thompson said.

While at Broadmead she continued her volunteer work, which included filling pitchers of water and talking to fellow residents.

"She did things that aren't valued nowadays," Mrs. Thompson said.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St.

She is survived by a daughter, Frances Baker Hale of Cockeysville; a sister, Frances Small Wainwright of West Chester, Pa.; six grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

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