Carmen D. Baker
At the age of 91, Carmen “Peggy” D. Baker left this life peacefully on Dec. 30, 2008 to join her beloved husband.
Peggy was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic to Duncan and Angelica Dunsmore. In 1947, while working at the American Embassy in Santo Domingo, she met and married an American pilot, Julius Walter Baker, II. In 1952, they moved with their three children to Pittsburgh, Pa. where they welcomed their fourth child into the family.
Peggy enjoyed being a homemaker and used her sewing, cooking, and artistic talents to enhance her family’s life. Having studied interior design, she created a beautiful home with unique pieces from around the world accented by her exquisite shell mirrors and artwork. She and her husband designed and built their home using architectural pieces from demolished buildings thereby giving historical pieces new life. She was also involved with the Spanish Club of Pittsburgh and translated documents from Spanish to English for Alcoa.
After her husband’s sudden death in 1983, she moved to Sanibel where they had vacationed together many times. She found great peace in the causeway islands, enjoying the water and her passion for shelling. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge also became her refuge as she spent many joyful days with family and friends crabbing there. She was fascinated with the wildlife and natural vegetation of the area and loved having returned to the tropics to live.
Peggy also enrolled in ballroom dance classes at Arthur Murray, taking pride in the many trophies she earned. One of the earliest year-round volunteers for F.I.S.H., Peggy continued up until last year to drive people to and from the mainland for doctors’ appointments. Her friends and family remember her as a sensitive and caring soul who always put others before herself. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was truly a unique individual.
She leaves behind her only sibling, Emily Overbeck, of Sarasota; four children: Kyle Baker and his wife, Diane, of Hickman, Neb.; Pilar Baker of Fort Myers; Julia Anne Tepera and her husband, Dennis, of Lake Jackson, Texas; Julius W. Baker, III, of Anchorage, Alaska; three grandchildren: Julius Walter Baker, IV, of Phoenix, Ariz., Ryan Tepera and Marissa Tepera of Lake Jackson, Texas; a cousin, Josefina Garcia of Davie, Fla.; a niece, Bonnie Overbeck; nephews Robert Overbeck and Charles Overbeck; several great-nieces and great-nephews; and other family and friends.
A memorial service was held in her honor on Jan. 5, 2009 at one of her beloved causeway islands. A memoriam has been established in her name at www.dingdarlingsociety.org.