HELEN ROSE BAKER
September 13, 1930 - November 12, 2020
"All that's happened, and the person I've become is coming out in color and design. And I don't care if anybody likes it or not." - Helen Rose Baker
Helen Rose Baker was born on September 13, 1930, in Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She was the youngest of six children born to the late Burnes Allen & Lillian Ernistine Taylor Rose.
Helen was raised in Ambler, PA, and graduated from Ambler High School, now named Wissahickon High School, in 1948. Her favorite subjects were English and art. She was very active in school, participating in band, glee club, and assembly programs. As a self-professed "tomboy," Helen loved all sports and was a field hockey and basketball team member. Although there wasn't a girl's track and field team, she often mentioned she could run as fast and jump as high as the boys.
Growing up, Helen discovered the value of family, community, and caring for others, which extended throughout her life. As a child, she had a passion for orderliness and harmony, which benefited her as a housekeeper and childcare provider. After the birth of her son, Kenneth, she worked tirelessly to provide a stable home and life as a single parent. In 1960, Helen was introduced to Richard Baker by a cousin, and after a year-long courtship, they married in 1961.
A career in domestic work for Helen was a practical decision. However, art was always an interest, and she needed to explore outlets to express herself. Her natural artistic talent awakened on canvas while taking an adult painting course. In the 1970s and '80s, she participated in many local and national art shows. She had a few one-woman shows and exhibitions and won many awards, thus adding professional artists to her resume. Watercolors became her forte, starting with landscapes, shifting to flowers, and veering into an abstract period in her later years.
Helen was very active in the community and served as a member of the Abington Art Center and Woodmere Art Gallery; Afro-American Historical & Cultural Museum; National Museum of Women in the Arts and American Watercolor Society; Pearl Buck Foundation; Fair Housing Council of Delaware Valley; and Ambler YMCA. She also volunteered with Children of Aging Parents and the American Red Cross.
A particularly special community for Helen was the Ambler Mennonite Church. The congregation held a special bond in her heart. She was fortunate to find a faith community that equally poured into each other while sharing God's love for all. Helen felt God provided everything she needed in the simplest of ways. She had a servant's heart and gracious spirit, which showed up in teaching a bible study or making sure a new face felt welcomed.
Helen lived most of her life in Ambler. She and her husband Richard, married for 34 years, built a family and settled into their close-knit community. When Richard's health began to decline, in-true Helen fashion, she cared for him, providing comfort and support in his final days. Helen's red cardinal painting collection incorporated cardinals to memorialize "the one" that appeared at his passing. The cardinal served as a reminder that he is watching over us.
When Helen's health began to decline, requiring her to move into the Souderton Mennonite Home, her zeal for life, love for people, and sense of humor continued to impact those around her. Music provided a boost to her spirit, and she remains the reigning Queen of "Name that Tune."
Left to cherish her memory are her sister, Bessie Martin, from California, step-daughter, Sandra Lee, and husband, Rudolph Lee, from Pennsylvania, and long-lost daughter, Brenda Ridges from Oklahoma. She was blessed in this life with two grandchildren, Ahmed and Celestine, and five great-grandchildren, Julius, Cade, Trent, Kase, and Ryley; along with a host of cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, extended family, friends, neighbors, and her beloved church family, all whom she loved dearly.
She was preceded in death by her husband Richard, son, Kenneth Charles Carter, sister, Ruby L. Rose, and brothers, Burnes A. Rose, Warren Rose, and Lester Rose.
"With her joy for living, her great capacity for caring, and her welcoming attitude, Helen has truly encountered the world from her doorstep." Her impact will be lovingly remembered and continually celebrated by all who had the opportunity and privilege to know and love her.
Relatives and friends are invited to call after 10:00 am on Friday, November 20, 2020, at the Anton B. Urban Funeral Home 1111 S. Bethlehem Pike Ambler, PA. Her Funeral Service will be celebrated at 11:00 am with the Rev. Robert Lewis, Sr. officiating. Interment will take place at a later date in George Washington Memorial Park, Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Photos and tributes may be shared at www.UrbanFuneralHome.com