Ida Jane Baker, 91, passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, at home on Saturday, May 1, 2021. She was born at the Cambridge Maryland Hospital on April 17, 1930, daughter of Benjamin E. Robbins and Mary Elizabeth Gray Robbins.
Ida Jane attended schools in Cambridge, graduating from Cambridge High School, Class of 1947. She then went to work for Cambridge Wire Cloth in the billing department.
In February of 1949, she met Russell S. Baker Jr. and they married on December 25th of that same year. They made their home on the New Bridge farm near Vienna where they started their family and raised two children. As a dedicated “Mom”, she spent hours helping with school projects as well as chairing a program for adolescent ballroom dance classes. In the 1960’s, she created an investment club for women to help with financial awareness. She was also an avid bridge player and an excellent cook.
As a devoted member of Christ Episcopal Church, Great Choptank Parish, Ida Jane chaired the Memorial fund for over 30 years, worked on the renovation committee for Barber Hall, taught Sunday school, served on the Altar Guild and spearheaded the “needle point kneeler” committee, traveling to churches and cathedrals throughout the region to ensure that the project was done with care. She was a member and served on the board of the Dorchester Center for the Arts, member of the Dorchester Historical Society and a member of the Cambridge Yacht Club for 71 years. She was also recognized for 30+ years as a volunteer for the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD.
That being said, Ida Jane’s passion was the hospital in Cambridge. She was a dedicated volunteer for more than 60 years. Through her work on the auxiliary, she headed many projects for the hospital, created funding for programs, oversaw the renovation of the nurses’ residence and worked with the hospital gift shop and the Robin Hood Shop.
While continuing this service to the hospital, the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation was created in October of 1988. Ida Jane was a founder and served with dedication as the president, actively continuing in that role until her passing. She was a force to be reckoned with when it came to fund raising for the foundation, providing funds for countless projects, which allowed the facility to better serve the community.
Her husband, Russell, of 71 years, predeceases Ida Jane along with sisters Mary Lee Kincaid, Dorothy Gray Shepherd and brother Benjamin E. Robbins, Jr. She is survived by her son, Russell S. Baker III and wife Laura, daughter Carol Jane Baker-Jones and husband Marston, grandchildren R. Sage Baker IV, wife Jessica, Ali Elizabeth Baker Gilliam, husband Chris and great grandchildren Wyatt Henry Baker, Natalie Jane Baker and Isaac Baker Gilliam along with several nieces and nephews.
Graveside service will be private and internment will be at the Christ Church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Dorchester Hospital Foundation. Arrangements are in the care of Thomas Funeral Home, PA in Cambridge.
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