Obit: Ruth Evelyn Baker, UB Missionary and First Lady of HU

Left: Evelyn Baker with her children (l-r) Joyce, Ron, and Annette.

Left: Evelyn Baker with her children (l-r) Joyce, Ron, and Annette.

Ruth Evelyn Baker passed away on Friday, January 20, 2017, in Huntington, Ind. She was 98 years old. Evelyn and her husband of 57 years, DeWitt, served 26 years as missionaries in Sierra Leone, 1949-1965. Evelyn then became the First Lady of Huntington College, while DeWitt served as president 1965-1981.

Visitation: 6-8 pm Friday, January 27, 2017.
Visitation location: Deal-Rice Funeral Home–Huntington Chapel, 338 E. Washington St., Huntington, IN 46750.
Funeral: 10:30 am Saturday, January 28, 2017. Visitation one hour preceding.
Funeral location: College Park UB church, Huntington, Ind.

Evelyn graduated from Huntington College with an elementary education teaching certificate, and then taught first grade in Wren, Ohio. She and DeWitt were married August 16, 1942, while he was serving as a Navy pilot during World War 2.

They moved to Sierra Leone in 1949 with sons Ron and Norman. They were first stationed at Bonthe, where Evelyn was the head matron at Minnie Mull Girls’ School. They were later stationed in Gbangbaia, then Mattru, and later Bumpe. While in Mattru, eight-year-old Norman was killed in a boat accident during a school excursion. Daughters Joyce and Annette were born during their years in Africa.

DeWitt was elected president of Huntington College in 1965, and they both spent the rest of their years in Huntington. DeWitt passed away in 2000. Evelyn was a member of College Park UB church. She played the piano for Rotary Club and at local nursing homes, was an avid bird watcher, and loyally supported Huntington University basketball.

Evelyn is survived by son Ron (Berrien Springs, Mich.), daughter Joyce Hewitt (Brazil, Ind.), and daughter Annette Shepherdson (Longwood, Fla.). There are ten grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Preferred memorials are to Huntington University or United Brethren in Christ Global Missions, designated to Mattru Hospital. Contributions can be sent c/o Deal-Rice Funeral Home, 338 E. Washington St., Huntington, IN 46750.

1 Comment
  • Brent Birdsall
    Posted at 07:12h, 27 January

    I mourn the loss of Evelyn Baker. For a number of years I had the privilege to be the pastor for Evelyn and her husband Dewitt. There was such an authenticity in the way they walked and talked their faith. They were faithful – to their God, their calling, their family, their church and to Huntington U.

    Sandie and I extend our condolences to Ron and Joyce and Annette.

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