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Baker has lived in Pleasant Park most of her life

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:04 p.m.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Carol Baker painted this watercolor for her daughter, Rebecca.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Carol Baker is enjoying her retirement in Pleasant Park.

“I have such good memories living in Jeannette,” said Carol Baker of Pleasant Park. “I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.”

Baker has lived the majority of her life in the Pleasant Park neighborhood.

“I can remember the names of all the families (who) lived on my street when I grew up. Those are cherished memories.”

A graduate of Jeannette High School, Baker was an employee of Urbani's Drug Store for 25 years. When the store closed, she continued her career for another 18 years at the Salvation Army on Clay Avenue Extension as the case manager and secretary.

Baker said shortly after she began working for Urbani's, the store moved to the 600 block and she and other employees “carried things down the avenue to the new store.”

Baker married her husband Merle 42 years ago. Merle Baker has been employed by U-Haul for 45 years. The couple has one daughter, Rebecca, who graduated valedictorian from Jeannette High School in 1991.

Rebecca received a full scholarship to Carlow University and then earned her master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. Rebecca lives in New York City and works as a journalist for the Bergen Record in Bergen, NJ. She has had articles picked up by the Associated Press and one of her articles was featured on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

Baker is enjoying her retirement and belongs to two Bible study groups, the Red Hat Society, the Third Saturday Club and goes to Curves three days a week.

She is enthusiastic about her Bible study groups and said, “The more you use your brain, the younger you stay.”

In the Red Hat Society, whose sole mission is to foster friendship and fun for women age 50 and older, Baker is known as the “Egyptian Princess.” She and other Red Hatters “take bus trips and do everything from playing miniature golf to attending fashion shows,” she said.

The chapter of the Red Hats that Baker belongs to boasts members ages 50 to 86.

“I'm so busy since I retired, I don't know how I had time to work,” said Baker.

To learn more about enjoying retirement, reminiscing about Jeannette or belonging to the Red Hat Society, get to know neighbor Carol Baker.

Editor's note: Meet Your Neighbors is a recurring feature in The Jeannette Spirit. If you know of a neighbor with an interesting life story to tell, someone who deserves some recognition for volunteer work, a resident with a special talent or an avid collector who would like to be featured, call the Spirit at 724-838-5154 or send an email to

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.

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