PROSPECT — Arlene Maher Baker, of Prospect, the wife of Mark Dowd Baker, died peacefully at her home Tuesday, June 21, 2016, surrounded by her family.
Mrs. Baker lived in Prospect for 67 years. She was a generous member of her community and her church, and the heart of her family of children, children-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends.
Mrs. Baker was born June 10, 1926, in Waterbury, the daughter of Leo and Theresa (DeBisschop) Maher. She attended Sacred Heart elementary school and then East Mountain elementary school, where she met her future husband. She graduated from Crosby High School in Waterbury in 1944 and earned an associate’s degree in business from Post Junior College. After she graduated from Post, she worked as executive secretary to the inventor and businessman Thaddeus Sendzimir.
Arlene Maher and Mark Baker married in July 1949 and moved into the second floor of the Hotchkiss house in Prospect, which is now the home of the Prospect Historical Society. Within a year, Mark, a Navy veteran of World War II, was recalled to serve in the Korean War, and the couple moved to the Naval Air Station in Patuxent, Md.
They later settled permanently in Prospect, where they raised their three sons and four daughters. Mrs. Baker was an active member of the community. She was a communicant of St. Anthony Church and served as clerk of Prospect’s Charter Revision Commission and chairman of its Planning and Zoning Commission. She covered Prospect news for WOWW radio station in Naugatuck and for the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper.
In 1989, Arlene and Mark Baker bought the Evergreen Tree Farm in Prospect. They built a house on the hilltop and sold cut-your-own Christmas trees to families from throughout the area, keeping alive a tradition that they had followed with their own children for many years.
Mrs. Baker was a talented and award-winning artist. Her paintings, in acrylics, watercolors and oils, were shown in a number of juried exhibits in Connecticut. For several years she also was both a student and an instructor of yoga at the Naugatuck YMCA.
Arlene and Mark were intrepid boaters. They cruised the East Coast from Florida to Maine, but loved most their time every summer on Cuttyhunk Island, off the Massachusetts coast.
Besides her husband of 67 years, Mrs. Baker is survived by her children, Mark and his wife, Barbara, of Three Rivers, Mass., Daniel of Bridger, Mont., Tracie of Litchfield, Timothy and his wife, Cynthia, of Prospect, Sara of Boylston, Mass., Alice Genest and her husband, David, of Hobe Sound, Fla., and Christine Gerndt and her husband, Martin, of Middletown; two brothers, John Maher and Leo Maher of Massachusetts; a sister, Theresa Ann (Maher) D’Angelo of Maine; seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews; and four loving caregivers, Jackie, Hedy, Carmem and Jolanta.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church, 4 Union City Road, Prospect. Family and friends are asked to please meet directly at the church. Burial will be in Prospect Cemetery. Calling hours will be held at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church on Friday, June 24, 2016 from 5 to 8 p.m. The Prospect Memorial Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Road, Prospect is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to Children’s Community School, 31 Wolcott St., Waterbury, CT 06702; or to the Disabled American Veterans organization.
To place online condolences, visit www.prospectmemorial.com.