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Obituary: Karen R. Baker

Obituary: Karen R. Baker

September 24th, 2017 in Obituaries

Karen R. Baker, 78, of Mount Kisco, N.Y., passed away at her home on Sunday, September 10, 2017, after a long illness. She was born Karen Kirby Randolph in Fayette, Mo. on September 12, 1938, the first child of Esther (Laursen) and John Wilson Randolph. Shortly after her birth, her parents began teaching at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. She grew up in Fulton and graduated from Fulton High School in 1956. She graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a degree in English Literature, before earning her Master of Science degree in Library Science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif. While at MU, she met and married Willis Baker, and to that union were born her much loved children Libby and Sarah. She moved to New York state in 1964, raising her family in Chappaqua, N.Y. After raising her daughters, Karen worked for many years as a librarian, retiring as the head of the West Harrison library in 2009. She moved to Mt. Kisco in 1995. Karen was happiest when reading or caring for her garden and numerous houseplants. She maintained a close circle of long-time friends including the "Fab Five", as they called themselves: Annette, Barbara, Gina, Karen and Lorraine. During her illness, she received faithful and patient care from her aide, Lorna Bennett. Cherishing her memory are her daughters Elizabeth (Libby) Baker and Sarah K. Baker, both of Brooklyn, N.Y. She shared a mutual love of her daughters with her former husband, Willis W. Baker of Cary, N.C. She is also survived by her brothers Lance W. Randolph of Fulton, Mo. and John L. Randolph of Columbia, Mo., and her long-time companion, Thomas P. Lewis, of White Plains, N.Y. An informal gathering to celebrate Karen's life will be held at her home on Saturday, October 14, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Greater New York chapter of the ALS Association, http://als-ny.org/.