Elizabeth Yarbrough Baker of Decatur, GA, formerly of Griffin, passed away on February 14, 2012 at the age of 102. Mrs. Baker was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years Henry McGowan Baker and her daughter Beverly Baker Tuten. Survivors include: daughter Nancy Baker Clark and husband Charles (Decatur, GA); daughter Reba Baker Keller and husband George (Atlanta, GA); daughter Cynthia Baker (Seattle, WA); eight grandchildren: Bruce Tuten, Jr. and wife Deborah (Peachtree City, GA); Elizabeth Tuten Tobin and husband Sean (Helena, MT); Terrell Tuten and wife Cheryl (Sugar Hill, GA); Charles Clark, Jr. and wife Brandi (Decatur, GA); Johnson Clark and wife Wendy (Seattle, WA); Scott Rowe and wife Allison (Sandy Springs, GA); Brian Rowe (Atlanta, GA); Lucinda McGowan and husband Justin (Seattle, WA); seven great-grandchildren: Thomas and William Tuten, (Peachtree City, GA); Jacob and Elizabeth Tuten (Sugar Hill, GA); Zamba Villa and Juniper Clark (Decatur, GA); Maya Rowe (Sandy Springs, GA).
Additionally, Mrs. Baker is survived by brother Lewis Yarbrough and wife Trudie (Olympia, WA); sister Ann Yarbrough Arrington (Lithonia, GA): sisters-in-law Wynell Yarbrough (Covington, GA), Helen Yarbrough (Williamsburg, VA), and Rene Yarbrough Navle (Doraville, GA), brother-in-law William H. Rice (Decatur, GA), and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Born in Pike County, Georgia, September 21, 1909, Mrs. Baker was the eldest of Lois and Durward Yarbrough's ten children. She spent her early years in Pike County, before her family moved to Griffin where she graduated from Griffin High School in 1925. After finishing her two-year degree at Georgia State College for Women in 1927, she began teaching elementary school in Griffin. In 1929 she returned to college to complete her Bachelor's Degree at Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky, from which she graduated in 1931. She moved back to Griffin and began teaching English at Spalding High School. In 1957, when Sputnik changed the course of the Cold War and inspired many to move into science and mathematics, Mrs. Baker enrolled at Emory University where she earned certification in teaching mathematics. She taught Algebra and Geometry in the Griffin-Spalding County Schools until she retired in 1972. During her tenure as a teacher, she mentored new young teachers and represented her school and the system in local and national professional associations.
Mrs. Baker and her husband Henry enjoyed playing golf and were avid campers and hikers. They loved traveling and visited all 50 states, every province in Canada, and much of Europe. At age 81, Mrs. Baker went to New Zealand with the Friendship Force. By the time she celebrated her 87th birthday, she had traveled to every continent except Asia and Antarctica.
Mrs. Baker's family attributes her extraordinary good health and longevity to moderation in her diet, daily walks that continued into her late 90's, and her positive outlook. She was an inspiration to all of her family.
The family will receive friends at Haisten McCullough Funeral Home, 1155 Everee Inn Road, Griffin, GA, Saturday, February 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. A private graveside service will be held in the family cemetery in Williamson, GA.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution may donate to VistaCare Hospice, Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Road, Unit G5, Atlanta, GA; or to the First United Methodist Church of Griffin, 1401 Maple Drive, Griffin, GA 30224.