Edward James Baker
Edward James Baker, 75, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Thursday, June 9, 2016. This past year he had a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia, during which he displayed the positive attitude, perseverance, and sense of humor for which he was known and loved.
Ed was born on March 12, 1941 to Selina and Frederick Baker in Norwood, MA. He was predeceased by both of his parents, and his brother Fred. He is survived by his wife, Carol Ann Baker, brother Bob Baker (Marsha), four children: Karen Campellone (Vince), Susanne Hodgin (Michael), Mark Baker and Sarah Baker; two step children: Benjamin Aldred (Amelia) and Rebecca Rankin (Matthew). In addition to his wife and children, he is also survived by his grandchildren: Tyler Campellone, Taylor Campellone, Ian Hodgin, Alec Hodgin, Betty Rankin and Samuel Rankin, as well as many loving family members and friends.
Ed spent his working life dedicated to education and nonprofit institutions, working to positively impact the lives of others through his counseling, teaching and fundraising. He worked as the Head of West Nottingham Academy, a boarding and day school in Colora, MD, from 1989 to 2000, and was a long-time member of the administrative team at George School, a Quaker boarding and day school located in Newtown, PA. Ed was proudest of his ability to nurture the best qualities in each student while encouraging them to live productive, fulfilling lives.
Ed also offered fundraising counsel to many independent schools and other nonprofits. He was cited by CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) as an outstanding teacher and was the recipient of the Robert Bell Crow Memorial Award from CASE for contributions to independent school advancement programs. Since moving to Ashe County, NC in 2007, Ed served as the President of the Ashe County Free Medical Clinic and the Ashe County Schools Endowment Fund, helping give the people of his community accessible medical care and providing local teachers the funds to improve their classrooms.
Ed was a passionate cook often seen hard at work in the kitchen putting finishing touches on a meal. He knew the most important ingredient was the company and the meaningful conversation and plentiful laughter at the table. He was an avid reader and recently finished the manuscript for a novel of his own. He was known for his dry sense of humor and his New England accent which never faded despite 25 years living south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Ed will be deeply missed by the many he touched through his advocacy, counsel, friendship, and love.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 20, 3 p.m. at Bethany United Methodist Church, 495 Hwy 194, West Jefferson, NC 28694.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Ashe County Free Medical Clinic (www.acfmc. org) or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www. lls.org) in Ed’s honor.