Published: Oct 14, 2012 12:02 AM
Modified: Oct 14, 2012 12:02 AM
Louise Royston Baker died September 24,2012 at Carol Woods Retirement Community where she had lived since 2007. A native of LaFayette, Alabama, Mrs. Baker was the daughter of the late Wade Hampton Royston, Sr. and Zelna Davis Finney Royston. Her younger brother, Wade Hampton Royston, Jr. died in 2008.
Louise graduated as Valedictorian of her class at LaFayette High School and subsequently entered Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, Alabama from which she earned the B.A. degree. Later she received a Master of Religious Education degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She spent three years in Winston-Salem, N.C. as director of children’s work at the First Baptist Church, during which time she also served as a curriculum writer for her denomination.
In 1961 she married Arthur Napier “Nape” Baker, and the two moved to Rochester, N.Y. Louise taught in the Rochester public schools and earned a Master of Elementary Education with Honors degree from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. After the birth their daughter, Linda, Louise served as a substitute teacher in several public school districts in New York and Pennsylvania and was an education consultant to an Episcopal Cathedral as well as to a Roman Catholic Diocese. She also was a lecturer in continuing education at Villa Maria College in Erie, Pennsylvania.
After the Bakers moved to Chapel Hill in 1976, she served as interim director of Christian education at the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church and later as executive director of The Women’s Forum of North Carolina. In 1985 she became information and referral specialist for the Orange County Department on Aging. In that capacity she led numerous seminars and workshops on Medicare and other insurance issues, housing options, and consumer matters. She was a regular participant in faculty and staff retirement planning sessions for UNC-Chapel Hill and for UNC Hospitals.
As part of her work with older people, Louise became part of the Seniors Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) of the N.C. Department of Insurance. A workshop she led was videotaped by the Department and used as a training tool in SHIIP’s work in all 100 counties. Following her retirement in 1995, Mrs. Baker remained a SHIIP volunteer for a number of years.
Mrs. Baker loved Carol Woods and it was the only retirement community in which she would consider living. She worked in the rose garden, was a member of the Community Relations Committee, and wrote for and was on the editorial board of the Carol Woods News.
In retirement, Louise continued working with aging issues, leading a group at Binkley Baptist called “You and Your Aging Parent.” Her interest in the well-being of others kept her busy writing thoughtful and supportive notes to those who were ill or suffered the loss of a loved one. She was a regular visitor to several Binkley members unable to get out. She is remembered by all for her warm and friendly smile which made everyone feel welcomed and valued.
Louise is survived by her husband of 51 years, her daughter Linda Elizabeth Baker of Warrenton, N.C. and grandson Aaron Matthew Perkinson , currently stationed at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX.
A Service celebrating Louise’s life will be held at the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church, 1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, on Saturday, October 20 at 3:00 p.m. A reception will follow in Fellowship Hall.
Memorials may be directed to the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church (21st Century Building Fund) 1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or the Carol Woods Charitable Fund (Employee Development) at 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
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