Sally Baker Williams
Sally Baker Williams died in a nursing home in Chatham, MA on December 31st after traveling through the convoluted, and at times, frightening path of dementia.
Sally was born on August 12, 1927 in Grosse Point, Michigan to Edwin Walter and Francis McCauley Baker. She was predeceased by her older sister, Francis Baker Muir but is survived by two brothers, Ed Baker of Dillon, CO and Peter Baker of Portland, OR in addition to her two sons, four grandchildren, and seven nieces and nephews.
Sally grew up in the colorful world of literature, the Detroit Tigers, exploring Lake Michigan, and summers at her grandmother’s house in Siasconset, Nantucket. Some of Sally’s favorite childhood memories were skipping Sunday school with her younger brother Ed, and going to the penny candy store instead, the family’s Cocker Spaniel Lucky, and using her older sister’s driver’s license to gain access to bars. Sending wily smiles to the Detroit Tigers players from front row seats in Wrigley Stadium was certainly a favorite pastime.
In 1950, Sally traveled in a Willy’s Jeep with a friend and a huge husky to Aspen, CO. She only spent part of a year there and returned to Grosse Point.
Aspen, skiing, and the Rockies were in her blood, though, and she returned the following year. At that time, Aspen was a bit of a bohemian playground for the twenty-somethings and it is in Aspen, where Sally met Kenneth D. Williams – a warm-hearted jazz piano and stand up bass player from Darien, CT. Sally and Kenny were married on April 26, 1955 in Yuma Arizona. Their first son, Nathan now living in Chatham MA, was born in Aspen. A second son did not survive beyond the age of 12 months due to complications associated with the Rh factor. A third son, Douglas now living in New Milford, CT, was born in Denver. Life in Aspen in the 50’s was a financial challenge so in 1960, the family left in search of better opportunities in Hawaii.
It was in Hawaii that Kenny began his ultimate career as a restaurant owner with Chuck’s Steak House. Family ties in the east and the lack of fall foliage in Hawaii prompted the family to move back to CT, ultimately settling in Washington Depot. Sally loved the rolling hills of CT. Those hills, as much as their house, were home after visits to New York City, trips around New England, explorations in the Caribbean, or tours through Europe. Sally and Kenny surround themselves with tasteful art and gave generously to numerous institutions and charities. Kenny died on June 29, 1998 on their last trip together in California. In April 2007, Sally moved to the family’s second home in Chatham to accommodate her growing need for care.
Sally was very artistic but too shy to display it outwardly. During the mid stages of her dementia, however, she drew prolifically and it was for some time, a source of entertainment at the beauty salon where the staff would pour over the magazines after she left. Sally also had a wonderful sense of humor. When she was unable to find her shoehorn, she improvised with a cheese spreader. As she put her shoes on, she always said, “If I offer you a slice of cheese, you better say no.” Up to her last days, she gave those around her a smile that one caregiver fondly dubbed, her Mona Lisa smile. That twinkle of life will be missed but always remembered.
The family will be holding private memorial services. Contributions may be made to the charity of your choice in her name. Museums, children, and animals were her passions.
Notes of comfort and sympathy may be made to her family at http://www.MorrisOConnorBlute.com
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