The Ottumwa Courier


December 29, 2012

Donna Baker, 85, Albia

ALBIA — Donna Hope Baker, 85, of Albia, passed away Dec. 28, 2012, at Monroe County Hospital in Albia.

She was born on Jan. 10, 1927, to Charles Sr. and Irma (Jacobs) DeFord in Ottumwa. She married James George Baker Sr. on Aug. 9, 1953, in Ottumwa. To this union two sons were born, Jack Sr. and Jim Jr.

Donna worked at JJ Newberrys in Ottumwa before her marriage. She was a housewife and homemaker for many years in Ottumwa and Kirkville. In 1975, she began working at Kmart in Oskaloosa and retired from there in 1987. In 1990, Donna and Jim Sr. moved to Albia.

Donna’s greatest love and joy in life was her grandchildren, Becky, Jack Jr., Mike, Nick and Ben; and her great-grandchildren, Gabe, Coy and Jaden. Donna was also very close to her brothers and sisters and their families as well as her husband’s siblings and their families.  

Donna was the organizer of many family get-togethers, especially summer vacations at the cabins at Lake Wapello for her extended family. Donna loved to go to rummage sales and casinos.

Donna is survived by two sons, Jack Sr. (Mary) Baker of Albia and Jim Jr. (Michele) of Chariton; five grandchildren, Becky (Chad) Stripe, Jack Baker Jr., Mike (Ashley) Baker, Nick (Emily) Baker and Ben Baker; three great-grandchildren, Gabe and Coy Stripe and Jaden Baker. Donna is also survived by two brothers, Bob DeFord of Mason City and Jerry DeFord of Cedar Rapids; and a sister, Penny Wilcox of Drakesville.  Donna is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim Sr.; her parents; brothers, Charles “Buddy” DeFord Jr. of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Harry “Hank” DeFord of Cedar Rapids; and a sister, Mary Colleen Kitterman of Ottumwa.

Donna was loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia; with Pastor Allen Wiese officiating. A private family burial will be in McCormick Cemetery in Ottumwa.

Visitation will be from 1-6 p.m. Sunday at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia, with Donna’s family present from 3-6 p.m.

Memorials may be directed to Monroe Care Center in Albia.

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