Minerva Baker, 95, Overbrook: July 9, 1926 – Oct. 9, 2021 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Minerva Baker, 95, Overbrook: July 9, 1926 – Oct. 9, 2021

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Minerva Baker, 95, of Overbrook, Kan., passed away peacefully Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Minerva was born July 9, 1926, in Marquette, Kan., the daughter of Mabel (Ditzler) and Richard Cadwell.

She graduated from Marquette High School as valedictorian in 1943, and then graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in home economics in 1947.

On June 2, 1950, Minerva married Wayne L Baker, in Manhattan, Kansas. They raised four children: Anita Kay, Randal, Barbara, and Laurel.

Minerva cherished her adoring husband, Wayne L, of 51 years. Their love for one another was their greatest gift to their children. It provided stability and demonstrated a loving, committed relationship. She was devoted to her children, children’s spouses, (Baker’s dozen) grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and extended families. She was indeed “the hostess with the mostest” and generously gave of herself through her wonderful cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, and gracious hospitality. Many people have wonderful memories of eating her homemade ice cream, pies, and cinnamon rolls! Her family relishes honoring Minerva by continuing the tradition of opening their hearts and homes to others.

Minerva was such a hard worker: tending an acre of garden each year; preserving the vegetables to use during the winter; sewing most clothes for herself and kids; gathering and cleaning eggs from 1,000 chickens (that’s approximately 750 eggs per day); and helping Wayne L tend their large yard,which she continued eight years after he passed.

Early in her career, Minerva successfully taught home economics. Later, although she didn’t feel prepared, she was certified for and met the challenge of teaching elementary students in a one-room schoolhouse. Eventually she said yes to the opportunity of teaching kindergartners (her most beloved teaching experience). She often made a lifetime connection with the kindergartners and their families.

Whether by train, plane, ship, or automobile (pulling a travel trailer), Minerva loved traveling with family. One highlight was when she and Wayne L took their children and families on a cruise to Alaska to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Minerva and Wayne L valued their many friendships. They were actively involved with the people who attended the Overbrook United Methodist Church. They routinely played cards almost weekly with the same friends for 51 years (when Wayne L passed). Minerva considered the people of Overbrook her extended family.

Although Minerva missed Wayne L, she continued to travel, play cards, and enjoy life for 20 years after their adventures together. During those years, she lived approximately seven years on the farm independently, seven years in Lawrence, Kan., and six years in Overland Park, Kan.

Minerva was preceded in death by her parents, Mabel and Richard Cadwell; sisters, Martha Cadwell, Ruth Ross, and Elizabeth Rake; brother, Richard Cadwell; grandson, Daron Williams; and infant great-grandson, Jacob Delimont.

Minerva is survived by four children and their spouses, Anita Kay and Byron Williams, of Plymouth, Wis., Randal and Nancy Baker, Long Lake, Minn., Barbara and Chris Swan, Olathe, Kan., and Laurel and Dan Delimont of Wichita, Kan; 12 grandchildren, Ann Chen, Daron’s wife (Feifei), Kevin (Sarah) Williams, and Colin (Natalie) Williams, Brandon Baker, Justin (Bergen) Baker, David (Michelle) Baker, and Ryan (Julia) Baker, Carley (Jaren) Swan and Aliza Swan, Austin (Terri) Delimont, Alex (Carly) Delimont, and Melanie (Jay) Timmerman; 15 great-grandchildren with two more expected soon; and eight nieces and nephews and their families.

A celebration of Minerva’s life will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at the Overbrook United Methodist Church, 1005 Maple St., Overbrook.

Minerva Baker memorial gifts can be made online to the Daron James Williams M.D. Memorial Scholarship in Pre-Medical Studies Fund at www.uwlax.edu/foundation/give-now/minerva-baker-memorial-donation-form/. The mailing address for the UWL Foundation is 615 East Ave N, La Crosse, WI 54601.

The family would like to especially thank the staff at Sunrise Senior Living of Overland Park for Minerva’s loving care while she resided there as well as Kansas City Hospice.

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