Catharine Isabel Baker
October 8, 1915 – December 1, 2008
Summarizing the life history of Isabel, our mother, is no easy task – as she lived 93 wonderful years, and she was busy with the community and family she loved right to the end. Isabel was born in Cannamore, ON, the oldest of the family having two younger brothers, Doug and Mac.
Her parents were William Simpson Feeley and Janet Hunter. For her early education, Isabel attended the local school, and then after receiving her high school diploma, travelled to the Ottawa Normal School, becoming a qualified teacher. Her career took her to Almonte, and she did some private tutoring in Montreal.
Later, she met and married Willard Edmond Baker in the late 1930s, and moved to the family farm in the Melvin Settlement, where she raised her family, Doug, Don, and Catharine. When Willard retired in 1969, the farm was sold, and the couple moved to their new home on Main St. in Winchester. Although Willard died in 1972, Isabel was able to follow an active and happy life in this home for nearly 40 years.
During this time, Isabel found enjoyment in a second career at the K-Mart at Blossom Park in Ottawa for 14 years, where she managed the lamps and furniture department.
The following years she dedicated her time to her family and many friends at the Seniors and her church in Morewood. She enjoyed euchre, dancing, and loved to visit. Reading, crossword puzzles, and going through the local newspapers helped fill in the time. She had a flawless driving record, and helped many of her fellow seniors to pass the written drivers exam! Despite her advancing years, she was able to live independently in her own home, and despite being offered a place in the Beachcroft Seniors Residence she summarily refused to move anywhere in January!!
Her excellent memory allowed her to be a store-house of local history, a resource that will be difficult to replace.
In closing we quote words written by Isabel many years ago;
ADVICE TO YOUNG TEACHERS
We’ll soon be leaving Normal
Where we’ve spent a happy year
Making friends with students’ masters
Working hard some times in fear.
Now each one will blaze her own trail
Each one try to make it straight
And each one will have a problem
To work out as sure as fate.
It will take a little courage and a little self control
And some grim determination if we wish to reach a goal.
It takes a deal of striving and a firm and stern-set chin
No matter what the battle if we really want to win.
There’s no easy path to Glory, there’s no rosy road to fame
Life however we may view it is no simple parlor game.
But achievement calls for fighting for endurance and for grit
For a rugged disposition and a don’t know when to quit.
Finally – Death at an advanced age is cause for those left to celebrate the gift of life, rather than a time of sadness.
I HAD A WONDERFUL LIFE….Isabel.
The funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Winchester/ Chesterville Funeral Home in Winchester.