Anne Marie Heider Baker, 69, passed away on October 2nd at her home in Williamsburg, Virginia, after a long illness with chronic pancreatitis and metastatic pancreatic cancer. A fifth-generation Washingtonian, she was born to the late Helen Leba Heider and the late William Frederick Heider.
She is survived by her husband of forty-three years, Arthur D. Baker, III, of Williamsburg, Virginia; her daughter Alexandra M. Shrake, her son-in-law Richard W. Shrake, III, and grandson Phineas, all of Ardmore, Pennsylvania; her brother, Frederick M. Heider, of Kensington, Maryland; and her stepmother, Mabel B. Heider of Frederick, of Maryland.
Known as "Mary Ann" to her family and childhood friends, she grew up in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Maryland. She attended St. Ann's Catholic School and Immaculata Seminary. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and in 1987 from Catholic University with a Master of Science degree in Library Science. Anne was elected to the honor society Beta Phi Mu. She also attended language schools in Germany, Spain, and Denmark.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Anne was a chemist for the Bureau of Mines and the Food and Drug Administration. She left the work force to be a stay-at-home mother, volunteering for the Girl Scouts and supporting her daughter in her activities. For seven years in the 1990s, she was the rare book librarian and archivist at Gunston Hall Plantation in Fairfax County. She also worked for the Association of American Railroads as a records manager.
In 1987, Anne christened the U.S. Navy's ocean surveillance ship USNS Adventurous (T-AGOS 13). Her daughter, Alexandra, was her maid of honor, and her husband was keynote speaker at the ceremony. Anne was a lifetime member of the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy.
For over forty years, Anne was passionately involved in researching her family genealogy. She belonged to numerous national and local genealogy groups and cemetery societies. Anne created and maintained a large genealogical database of German immigrants who settled in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She enjoyed traveling, crossword puzzles, reading mysteries and historical studies, and collecting books on calligraphy and the history of the book. She had been an avid gardener since the age of eight and grew more than 300 varieties of plants in her yard in Williamsburg. An experienced baker, she won many ribbons at Maryland and Virginia county and state fairs for her cookies and baked goods.
To honor her memory, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185. [In memo section: In Memory of Anne Heider Baker]
Calling hours at the Nelsen Funeral Home in Williamsburg will be from 2 to 4 pm on Saturday. In accordance with Anne's wishes, the funeral service will be private.