Ed­ward James Baker

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

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.

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