Thursday, July 10, 2014

Obituaries by day
Jul. 10, 2014

avia b. baker

Dec. 9, 1914 - Nov. 8, 2013

ELKHART — Avia Birnie Baker, 98, of Elkhart, was surrounded by her loving family when she “flew away” to her new home in the arms of her Lord and Savior on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at Silverbrook Manor in Niles, Mich.

Avia was born Dec. 9, 1914, in Watertown, Mass., to William Dawson Birnie and Eva Brackett Birnie.

She married Thomas F. Baker on March 29, 1940, in Worcester, Mass.

Avia is survived by her son, Dawson Slater (Patty) Baker of Toledo, Ohio; daughters Meredith Ann (Charles) Clymer of Niles and Judith Carol (John) VanderWeg of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.; and grandchildren Dawson Scott (Tonya) Baker, Felicity Alanna Baker, Kim (Scott) Allen and Karen Parker; 11 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

She graduated from high school in Worcester and business school in Albany, N.Y. Avia was a devoted mother, loving wife and lifelong homemaker. Elkhart was the longest and final homestead of the Baker family.

Avia was an accomplished seamstress — from bathing suits to wedding gowns. She played bridge well into her 90s and was a ruthless backgammon opponent. Avia enjoyed attending concerts and listening to music, and she loved being near the water and boating on Lake Michigan with her family. Among her many activities, foremost was her membership in First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart and their women’s association.

Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

A memorial celebration of Avia’s life will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 9, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart, 200 E. Beardsley Ave., Elkhart. When spring returns to the garden a private burial will be in the columbarium of First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart, 200 E. Beardsley Ave., Elkhart, IN 46514. Online condolences may be directed to

avia b. baker's Guestbook

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