SHIRLEY – Eleanor S. Baker, 96, died Dec. 27, 2011, at a hospital in Bangor. She was born Sept. 3, 1915, to Grace and Victor Simpson of Shirley.
Eleanor graduated in 1933 from Maine Central Institute, Pittsfield. She met and married Carleton M. Baker of West Forks in Bingham, Aug. 23, 1936. The couple lived in various places throughout Maine until settling in Shirley, when Carleton went to work for Great Northern Paper Co. Eleanor set up housekeeping and tended to their two children, Charlie and Judy. She attended nursing school for three years and was a very gifted seamstress. She also knitted and crocheted, and in 1951 together with several other women in town received a knitting machine to make socks for Shirley Industry. She was an active member of the extension program, enjoying participating in a wealth of culinary workshops, and volunteering her time to teach others sewing, knitting and crocheting. Eleanor was a charter member of the Shirley Shes, a ladies group, who unbeknownst to many, donated books to libraries, clothes to the needy and scholarships to deserving high school seniors. She was very patriotic and believed it was her civic duty to volunteer time to town matters. She not only served as the treasurer of Shirley Public Library for many years, but also volunteered every voting day at the polls. Far and away her greatest accomplishment however was her devotion to home and family. She was an outstanding parent and grandparent and her favorite job was that of great-grandparent. She was an excellent cook and often fed many a family hunting party. She was particularly well known in the area for her biscuits, molasses filled cookies and doughnuts. She enjoyed cooking with the children and playing games with even the youngest. She was never having so much fun though as when she was playing cards.
She was predeceased by her husband, Carleton M. Baker; her brother, Howard Simpson; and her brother, Carroll Simpson. She is survived by her son, Charles Baker of Shirley and his wife, Debi; her daughter, Judith Baker of Shirley; her granddaughter, Cindy Burnell of Franconia, N.H., and her husband, Tim; and her three great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Grace and Daniel.
A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Shirley Community Church, Shirley, with Dr. Robert Mulholland officiating. Burial will be at Shirley Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shirley Community Church, care of Joan Thorp, P.O. Box 7, Shirley, ME 04485. Arrangements by Crosby & Neal, Guilford. For an online register, go to