Joanne Baker

July 31, 1935 – January 20, 2022

A resident of Palo Alto since 1971, Joanne passed away peacefully at home while surrounded by family on January 20, 2022.

Mom was born in Roseburg, Oregon to Bud Page and Olive Thompson. After her parent’s divorce, the family moved to San Francisco in the 50’s, finally settling into their home in Palo Alto when her mother married Ray Hoover. Mom spent time with her beloved grandparents, Ruthe and Glenn Vaughn on their chicken ranch in Santa Cruz, CA. She worked summers at the movie theater in Santa Cruz.

It was during the summer of 1950 that mom met a handsome young man from the Navy, Loren Baker, at the beach. They hit it off immediately and after a dating for a little while, they married. As a military family, they traveled a lot, including two tours at Rhein Main AFB in Germany.

It was during the first tour at Rhein Main AFB that mom fell in love with Germany. She loved the food, the architecture, the beautiful landscape, and the people. Her love of Europe inspired our family vacations- camping on a beach in Denmark, sliding down salt mines in Austria, touring castles, watching the Passion Play in Oberammergau, visiting Madurodam and the tulip fields in Holland. Vacations were always an adventure because of mom.

When Dad retired in 1972, they returned to California, buying a house in Palo Alto. Mom was Personnel Director for MWR, including the military clubs and in charge of personnel who worked at the air show for the Blue Angels, until she retired.

Mom was an amazing woman. She instilled in all of us a strong work ethic, a sense of doing what’s right and was fair to a fault. Even if you might not want to hear it. She was the matriarch of the family and a wonderful role model. She loved Christmas with the family, gardening and her cats, Tommy and Baby. And she loved playing Krazy Bee with the family.

Mom is survived by her daughters, Lorrie Sprain and Cathy Nixon (Dennis); her grandchildren Scott Nixon (Amanda), David Baker, Mark Nixon, and Catie Mendoza (Michael); her great grandchildren Destinee, Logan, Tony, Myles and Dylan. She was preceded in death by her husband, Loren, in 2015. They were married for 62 years.

We are beyond blessed that she was in our lives. If you would like to honor her memory, please make a donation to Humane Society Silicon Valley.

We all love you mom and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You will be greatly missed.

“I’ll be seeing you”

1 Comment

  1. Looking for Cathy Baker Nixon, Joanne’s daughter. I worked with Joanne and Cathy in the 80’s. Cathy, please email me if you get this.

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