GREENVILLE, KY., Mary “Darlene” McCain Baker, 94, of Greenville passed away early Thursday, September 23, 2021, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Born April 25, 1927, in Christian County, KY to the late Dillis G. McCain and Genie Wyatt Morris McCain. She was a longtime resident of Greenville and a member of the First Baptist Church of Greenville. Since 2015 she has lived in Hopkinsville with her eldest son Joseph G. Baker and his wife Susie Tinsley Baker. Mary “Darlene” was a graduate of Pembroke High School. In 1946 she married her high school sweetheart Joseph Wendell Baker, Jr and for the next 26 years was a military wife dutifully traveling wherever the United States Air Force stationed them. Her favorite ‘tour of duty’ was at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where the family lived from 1959 until 1972. During that time, she worked as a physical therapy aide working at both Memorial County and St. Vincent DePaul Hospitals. She loved Wyoming and the beauty of the nearby mountains where her family spent every weekend in the summer camping, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. She was a great ‘ambassador’ for the western states of Colorado and Wyoming. She was a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. She never met a stranger and would often strike up conversations with nearly anyone she met. She was a wonderful cook and loved to bake treats for her family and friends. Her family never had a store-bought cookie or pastry until they left home. Her children loved waking up to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking or coming home from school to find a fresh batch of cookies from her oven. In 1974 Joe, Darlene and son Jerry returned to their roots in Kentucky. They resided in and around in Greenville for next 41 years. During that time, she became an avid KY Wildcat Fan and loved watching her basketball games. “If that ball is bouncing, I’m a watchin!” was one of her favorite seasonal sayings.
Darlene is preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband of 67 years Joseph W. Baker, Jr., her beloved daughter-in-law Denise Walker Baker, her brothers Dillis G. McCain, Jr and James McCain, sisters Garvey, Gertrude Yeager Haddock, and Erma Campbell Adams.
She is survived by her sister Dorothy McCain Philiips Conner, her children Joseph G. Baker and his wife Susie of Hopkinsville, Laura Baker (Michael) Rice of Kent, WA., John D. (Landra) Baker of Laramie of WY, and Jerry (Beth Neathamer - Mohon) Baker of Drakesboro, she is also survived by her 8 grandchildren Kathleen Bates, Jeffrey Rice, Melissa Rice Avary, Cassandra Baker-Foianini, Erin Baker Cerullo, Evan Baker, Carson Baker Blumenreich, and Jessica Baker Barber, she also leaves a legacy of 12 great-grandchildren Margot, Roger, Heidi, Joshua, Austin, Ryan, Annabelle, Olivia, Emmeline, Norah, Xander, and Finn, a grand family matriarch she leaves a legacy of children that she loved and who loved her dearly. She will be sorely missed although we have many wonderful memories to cherish and to sustain us.
A celebration of her life service will be held on September 29, 2021, at 11:00 AM at Evergreen Cemetery in Greenville, KY with Rev. John Galyen officiating.
In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to breast cancer awareness/research.
Online condolences to the family may be made at www.garysfuneralhome.net