Thelma Jewell Price Baker
CHAPIN - Thelma Jewell Price Baker, 87, departed this life peacefully to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, surrounded by her beloved family. Jewell, as she is called by her friends and siblings, was born in Logan, West Virginia, to the late Dona and John Edward Price on February 21, 1924. She was a spunky child and was known to be a bit willful. She idolized her father who called her "T. J.," and liked to bring her chewing gum at the end of his workday. Her life changed forever when her father was shot and killed by a man who would never be held accountable for his crime. This was during the Depression years, and Jewell's mother struggled to feed her family. Finally, remembering that her husband said that if anything ever happened to him, she could place the children in the Masonic Home, Dona made the difficult decision to place several of her older children in the "Home." Jewell had to grow up fast.
She met her future husband, Harl, when she was just 15. For him, it was "love at first sight." Jewell was a bit more cautious. However, at 17, she had her mother sign a release for her to marry. On December 26, 1941, she became Mrs. Harl W. Baker. She was a soldier's wife and supported him with daily letters as he fought in WWII, and later in Korea, as she cared for their six children at home. She said that the letters she and her husband exchanged were focused on their dreams for the future and not on the tragedies of war.
In the 1950s, Jewell became a genealogy enthusiast. She spent many hours writing to the New York State Library with inquiries and requests. She truly is our family historian. Her interest did not stop at researching her family history; she also researched the history of the home she and Harl purchased in Chapin, SC in 1977. The home is known as the "Miller-Eleazer" house and is over 300 years old. She collected a great deal of information on the history of her home.
Jewell's faith in, and love of, God, and her love and devotion to her family were the most important aspects of her life. She strove to make her home a safe and happy haven for her family. Reading was a great enjoyment for her – as was music. When she was diagnosed with Wet Macular Degeneration several years ago, the inability to read was her most difficult adjustment.
Jewell loved to laugh! She enjoyed humor and sometimes joked that she wanted her gravestone to read, "I told you I was sick!" Our lives will not be the same without her compassion, her wisdom, and her humor. She will be greatly missed.
She is survived by her children, Michael Baker, Mark Baker, and his wife, Julie Funderburk Baker, Harla Frank, Scott Baker and John Baker; her grandchildren, Melissa, Michael, Kimberly, David, Stacy, Kelly, Ashley, Rick and Hannah and her great-grandchildren, Michael Harl, Logan, Jordan and Scarlet Elle. She is predeceased by her granddaughter, Jamie; her son, Jeffrey; and her husband, Harl.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 4, 2011 at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Irmo/St. Andrews Chapel with entombment in Bush River Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home chapel.
"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. . . Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he raises her: 'Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all'." Proverbs 31