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Martha Baker, 88


Auburn United Methodist Church Saturday, March 16
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Auburn United Methodist Church Saturday, March 16
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

April 9, 1930 - March 8, 2019

Martha Ann Tarpley Baker

1930 - 2019


Memorial services for Martha Ann Tarpley Baker, age 88, of Auburn will be held at Auburn United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 12:00 noon, with Reverend Charles Cummings and Reverend Julie Hare officiating.  Visitation will follow the service.  Mrs. Baker died at Oak Park Nursing Home on Friday, March 8, 2019.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Dr. Clinton Allan Baker of Louisville, Kentucky.  She is survived by her son David Clinton Baker (Esmeralda) of Irving, TX; her daughter Suzanne Baker Wilson (Philip) of Birmingham, AL; grandson Johnathan Andrew Baker (Crystal) and great grandchildren Ryan Elizabeth Baker, Reese Ann Baker and Andrew Johnathan Baker of Fort Worth, TX; granddaughter Maria Ann Baker of Irving, TX; granddaughter Amanda Elizabeth Wilson of San Francisco, CA; and grandson Garrett Lowell Wilson of Atlanta, GA; step-grandchildren Jesus Eguia and Karen Eguia of Irving, TX.

Martha Ann Tarpley Baker was born April 9, 1930, in Altoona, Pennsylvania, to Edward Cecil Tarpley and his wife, the former Elizabeth Ann Miller.  She was a 1948 graduate of Mount Lebanon High School in Mount Lebanon, PA.  She began college as a music/voice major but quickly found a love for writing.  She changed her major to Journalism and her minor to Music.  In 1952, she graduated from the University of Kentucky with her Bachelor’s Degree from the UK School of Journalism.  She was also a member of Theta Sigma Phi, a national honorary journalism society.

Following her graduation, she worked at several trade journals as well as the Courier Journal in Louisville, KY.  She then obtained a position as Advertising Copywriter at Stewart’s, a large department store in downtown Louisville, KY.  She found she loved this job and it was at Stewart’s that she was introduced to a coworker’s nephew, Clint Baker, that soon became her husband. 

Shortly after marrying in 1955, she worked and supported her husband as he furthered his career (getting Master’s & Ph.D.) until he took at position in Columbia, South Carolina, where they lived for eleven years.  They then spent four years in Terre Haute, Indiana, before settling in Auburn, Alabama, in 1974. 

Mrs. Martha Baker was always active in some capacity in the Methodist Church, from her years of teaching kindergarten Sunday school when her children were young to leading bible study groups and Methodist Women Circles. She also enjoyed participating, serving, and leading in many committees. 

She always was committed to whatever organization she was a member of and usually served in leadership roles.  This included being a Cub Scout Leader, a Girl Scout Leader, and the Public Relations Chairman for the Covered Bridge Girl Scout Council in Indiana, as well as serving leadership roles in Newcomers, Auburn Campus Club, and Auburn Historical Society.  She served on the Auxiliary Board at Wesley Terrace, now known as Oak Park, as the Historian/Custodian for many years. 

She was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood for almost 50 years before her death.  She served in many capacities, including President, and loved this group of ladies.  As the final years slowed her involvement in this organization, these ladies made a point of keeping up with her and making her feel loved. 

Outside of her family, if you asked her what her greatest accomplishments were, she would have told about her years as a member and President of the Friends of the Auburn Public Library.  It was during her presidency that the library was able to build a new building and move into what is now the existing Auburn Public Library on the corner of Thach Avenue and Dean Road.  She had a passion for reading and was very proud the Auburn Public Library. 

She always loved to write and would volunteer to be the publicist for any committee she worked on.  She wrote many articles for local newspapers, including a regular column for the Auburn Bulletin called the “Library Corner.” 

Outside of all her committee work, her main focus was her family.  She was a wonderful wife and mother, she loved her family and especially loved her grandchildren. She also loved classical music; she played the piano and had a beautiful voice that she shared with many in her younger years.  She was an avid Auburn University sports fan, as well as a fan of the University of Kentucky basketball team.  Finally, anyone that knew her would also know of her love of cats.  She always owned at least one cat until her final years.  She was known for her many pictures of cats and even sported quite a few cat shirts and sweaters. 

The family would like to thank her wonderful caregivers that stayed with her for many years.  These ladies took individual care of her up to her dying breath.  They personally made Mrs. Baker’s life better after her husband died.  A special thank-you goes to Lillie Freeman, Belinda Freeman, Evelyn Allen, Angela Jones, and Edna Tyner.  

The family respectfully declines the gift of flowers and suggests memorial contributions may be directed to the Friends of Auburn Public Library, the Lee County Humane Society and the Auburn United Methodist Church Music Program.

Funerals & Cremations

Since 1900

Visitation Information

Visitation will follow the service. 

Service Information

Memorial services for Martha Ann Tarpley Baker, age 88, of Auburn will be held at Auburn United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 12:00 noon, with Reverend Charles Cummings and Reverend Julie Hare officiating.