Edith Baker, of Oak House, Greetham, formerly of Rutland Court, Oakham, died at Peterborough City Hospital, age 103, after a short illness.
She was the 14th child of Walter and Emma White and was born in Southfields, South West London in 1909. At the age of 14, she won a scholarship to Hammersmith Trades School where she trained as a ladies tailoress. As a first-rate student, aged 16, she was given the pick of the jobs available and started work at Jays of Oxford Street, a top fashion house, where she made coats for many ladies with well-known names.
She met her husband, Ernest, on holiday at Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth and they were married on December 31 1932. They set up home in north London where he worked and shortly after the birth of their first child, Janice, they bought their first house in Edmonton, where two sons, John and Keith, were born.
By 1972 they were able to achieve their dream of retirement to a bungalow in the country and spent 14 happy years at Tiptree in Essex where they joined the horticultural society, wine circle , Happy Wanderers (coach outings) and Edith joined the WI and became secretary.
By 1986 Ernest’s health was failing so they moved to a retirement bungalow in Oakham to be near their daughter. Ernest died within a few weeks of the move.
Edith was a member of Oakham and Cottesmore WIs, the Jack and Jill Club and Hard of Hearing Club. She also began to travel, either alone or with friends she had made at Rutland Court or Cottesmore WI. She went on tours to Australia, Canada, USA, Paris and Ireland, besides many trips to Scotland and other parts of the British Isles.
Special birthdays were marked by a lunch for 50 people on her 80th, a family weekend in Oxford for her 90th, and a ride on the London Eye and a Thames lunch boat trip for her 95th. Her 100th birthday weekend was marked by a visit by the Lord Lieutenant to present greetings from HM Queen, open house for all her neighbours and friends, and then a family lunch for 30 people. At age 102 she spent Christmas with her family at a remote cottage in the Derbyshire hills under two feet of snow!
Besides her three children, Edith had five granddaughters, one grandson, two great granddaughters and two great grandsons. Following the stillbirth of a great grandson, Adam, Edith knitted many clothes for premature babies at the Jessop Hospital, Sheffield.
The funeral service took place at St Nicholas Church, Cottesmore, the Rev John Adamson officiating. Heather Cowper was organist. Family members were pallbearers, and gave tributes and poetry and bible readings. Interment followed in the churchyard. Donations in lieu of flowers raised £165 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Family mourners included: Janice and Alan Patient, John and Sylvia Baker, Keith and Beryl Baker, Jenny Patient, Wendy Patient (representing Ian Hanney), Debbie and Richard Billington, Graham Baker, Joanna and Terry Shelton, Emily Notley, Sam Faulks, Ollie Notley, Erin Billington (George Billington), Audrey and Steven Brown.
Sympathisers included: Beryl and Vernon Tye, Andria and Jack Patient, Chris and Linda Denham, Sally Sneddon, Nan Alexander and Pat Crowe, Diana Toy (Margaret Towl), Hazel Lee (Pam Laverick), Barbara Hartley, Margaret Croson, Debbie Dalby, Yvonne Shewring and carer from Oak House, Patricia Gibbs.