Weather Forecast


Elise G. Baker, 91

Elsie Gladys Baker (nee Anderson), age 91, of Minnetonka, died on March 18, 2009 at Rakhma House.

Elsie was born on July 15, 1917 in Stacy, Minn. at the home of Swan and Olivia Anderson.

She was the sixth of nine children: Clarence (deceased), Harold (deceased), Arthur (deceased), Ethel (deceased), Agnes (deceased), Edith, Helen and Roy.

Growing up on a farm during the Depression the Anderson children learned to use their imagination. The "stick family" of Baejahmar, Purrence and Crawliper was a favorite memory from her childhood. She graduated from her one-room school after the eighth grade, where her father went early each winter morning, before the children arrived, to start the wood stove. She was the fastest runner in her class -- a fact she would later in life point out to her children before challenging one of them to a foot race.

Elsie married James Arthur Baker on July 3, 1939. Jim and Elsie raised a set of three girls: Sharon Baker of Seattle, Wash., Anita Nikolai of Columbia, Mo. and Jean Sigford (deceased), and then 15 years later a girl and a boy: Lisa Swelland of New Prague, Minn. and Brian Baker, of Plymouth, Minn. She lived most her life in Farmington.

During her life she was a cook at the elementary school, was a member of the Sanford Hospital Auxiliary and was a volunteer for the United Way Health Fair, Farmington Food Pantry and the American Cancer Society. She always helped the less fortunate. She was a member of the Women's International Bowling Congress, playing on the "Peppers" team and was a member of a Bridge Club. She was a member of the Farmington Lutheran Church and was a strong participant.

Elsie was a fun person, playing practical jokes on her kids, making pizza before anyone else had heard of it, making root beer in a (brand new plastic) garbage can and listening to the bottles explode in the laundry room during supper. She was a great mother, caring but not controlling, always ready to accept anyone new to the family without judgment, loving all. Even though she had only an eighth grade education she valued learning and encouraged her children to pursue higher learning.

Survived by four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The disease of Alzheimer's destroyed her mind, but not her sense of humor or her enjoyment of music and family. In lieu of gifts to the family please donate to the Rakhma House, the facility Elsie finished her life in, and who loved her very much. Rakhma, Inc. 4953 Aldrich Ave South, Minneapolis, Minn., 55419.

Funeral services were held March 21, 2009 at Strike Funeral Home - Isanti Chapel with Rev. Kent Boyum officiating. The musician was Becky Boyum. Pallbearers were Loren Nikolai, Scott Swelland, Chad Swelland, Ollie Bauer, Mark Stenby, and Glen Brown.

Interment was in Oak Leaf Cemetery in East Bethel.