Sheila Kinnaird Baker, of Round Rock, Texas died Monday, January 4, 2016 peacefully surrounded by the people she loved most dearly after a brave and courageous battle against cancer.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, September 28, 1947 to Leeland Jefferson Kinnaird and Leola Mae Sones Kinnaird, Sheila was raised by her parents in Davenport, Iowa where she graduated from Central High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Southern State University in Magnolia, Arkansas. It was there that she not only met the love of her life, but where she began a life of educational service.
She had a great love of reading and respect for the way children learn that she shared through teaching for more than 46 years. She had a special gift for reaching students with special needs, at-risk students and those students who may have felt set aside – it was her life’s work to help students reach their potential regardless of their circumstances or their perceived ability to learn. She fiercely advocated for all students. Education was her calling in life and she dedicated her life to helping others find theirs.
Education was her life’s work, but she also led a full life raising two children and taking special care with raising her family in a loving and caring environment. She was a master gardener and an avid reader. She was a lover of simple pleasures – books, road trips, shopping, student-led plays and museums. She, like her husband, Daniel, had a particular fondness of all things Louisiana – the culture, history and food, but most of all the hospitality of her people. But most of all, Sheila loved spending time with her family and the wonderment in her grandchildren’s faces when they discovered something new, when they created something with their hands and of course, her face lit up and she would get the giggles when all three would sing, in unison, ‘Mama B, Mama B, Mama-Mama-Mama B, the flyest chick!’
She was the founding member of the Baker Girl Social Club. She was known for her charm, her smile, her dry, sometimes inappropriate witty quips and a single eyebrow lift that could strike fear or joy in even the staunchest resistor.
Sheila felt her greatest life achievements were her family whom she treasured. She is survived by her daughter, Dana Paige Baker of Lafayette, Louisiana; her son, Reagan Baker and his wife Margo of Palmetto, Louisiana; and her most precious grandchildren, Savannah Catherine, Lillian Elizabeth and Oliver Veilliend. Sheila beamed with pride at being a grandmother and was overjoyed to be known as their Mama B. Sheila is also survived by her 14 year old faithful companion and protector, Ambrose, a white Labrador Retriever. He never left her side.
She was preceded in death by her college sweetheart, love of her life and husband of 41 years, Daniel Oliver Baker.
A very special thanks to her dear daughter-in-law, Margo, along with the entire Hubbard Family, for selflessly, steadfastly and lovingly taking care of our Mom around the clock for the last six months. Her life was made richer by every second. To her closest friends and former co-workers, Stephanie Stoebe, Clay Bennett, Phyllis Orr and Jenine Wolfe for being such steadfast, loyal and trusted confidants; to Nurse Vickie, Kacey and Keisha, her Hospice Nurses at Amedysis who worked tirelessly to keep her comfortable and in good spirits during these last several weeks; and most of all, to all of her former students, their parents and co-workers who enriched her life and allowed her to live her passion daily over the last 46 years.
A private memorial service will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at one of the two Serenity Gardens built at her request and by her design in Louisiana. In lieu of flowers, both volunteer time and/or financial contributions can be made to one of the organizations she most cherished: your local public library, any local program that fosters mentoring or early learning education, or to your local chapter of Special Olympics.
Online condolences can be made to the family at waltersfh.com.
Walters Funeral Home (337) 706-8941 is in charge of arrangements.