Obituary of Mary Surgenor Baker
October 5, 1921 - May 17, 2022
Mary Surgenor Baker, chemist, editor, and mother of six, was born and raised in Hartford, CT. She graduated from Connecticut College in 1943 then moved to Georgia and worked as a chemist at her future brother-in-law’s paint plant. Mary and Dave were married at The Cloister on Sea Island in 1945, and after the war moved to Atlanta to raise their family. They moved to Hilton Head Island in the early 90s where they developed close friendships and were very active in their church. Mary enjoyed her time volunteering at Hilton Head Hospital, editing books, gardening, being a faithful cheerleader for her family, and taking long walks on the beach.
Her life and accomplishments could be described in this way: an amazing centenarian with deep roots in Scotland and Prince Edward Island; outlived her entire generational family; science teacher, PTA president, chemistry textbook editor, diehard Atlanta Braves fan, mother of 6, grandmother of 8, great-grandmother of 18; superwoman wife to a WW2 Marine combat vet, incredible hostess who invited SO many people to our table every week (like she didn’t have enough mouths to feed already); skilled EMT and psychologist repairing everything from broken bones to broken hearts, super-shopper for food, clothing, school supplies all without a Costco or Sam’s Club; sports car driver who loved driving her VW convertible with the top down, strict disciplinarian who wielded a mean ping pong paddle, a listening ear and comforter always there when we needed her; our biggest sports fan (how did she find time to go to all the football, basketball, baseball games and track and swim meets?); and all of that with a cheerful Godly approach to life with her man whom she loved and lived with for 65 years. She was a celebrity in the truest sense of the word.
Mary was predeceased by her husband Dave, 2010, and daughter, Flora in 1967. She is survived by her children: Sandy Baker of Atlanta, Mollie (John) Harmon of Elon, NC; Susan (Paul) Wolfe of Hilton Head Island, Paul Baker (Marysia) of Aruba, Rob Baker (Agneta) of Weems, VA, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A service to celebrate Mary’s life will be held on June 6 at 11 AM in Ilderton Hall at the Hilton Head Presbyterian Church, 235 William Hilton Parkway. Mary is interred with Dave at Beaufort National Cemetery. The family is deeply grateful to The Pines at Hilton Head and Hospice Care of the Lowcountry for their loving care for Mary.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice.