August 11, 1938 – June 28, 2021
Marlene Joan Baker (nee Fletcher), of Campbell River, passed away June 28, 2021, following a battle with cancer.
Marlene was born to the late James and Ann Fletcher on August 11, 1938, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and grew up mainly in Campbell River, where she made many lifelong friends. While attending Campbell River High School, she worked part-time an usherette at the Van Isle Theatre, saw every single movie that came to town, and became a world-class predictor of movie plot twists.
Upon graduating high school in 1956, Marlene enrolled at the University of British Columbia and majored in Education until 1958, when she married Donald Baker, moved to Palo Alto, California, and worked as a Secretary at Stanford University while Don completed a PhD. With their three children, Marlene and Don moved to East Lansing, Michigan, then spent a year living in Paris, France where Marlene studied French. In 1971, Marlene resumed her university studies at the University of Waterloo, and after the end of her marriage, completed her studies at UBC, graduating with a degree in Education.
In 1974, Marlene began a distinguished career as a beloved primary teacher in the North Vancouver School District, where she was active in the North Vancouver Teachers’ Association, the BC Teacher’s Federation, and the NDP, notably as a valued member of former BC Premier Mike Harcourt’s campaign team, and that of MLA Emery Barnes.
In 2002, Marlene retired to Campbell River to enjoy the company of her family and old friends, the beautiful view from her condo balcony, walks on the Spit, and trips to Quadra Island and Roberts Lake. In her later years, she was an avid volunteer for the Haig-Brown Festival, Words on Water, and a co-leader of her TOPS group. She enjoyed scrapbooking and spending time with her grandchildren, and attending local cultural events and film festivals.
A devoted mother and grandmother, Marlene was the family photographer, forever capturing memories of the extended family she cherished. She passed on her love of music, theatre, film, and literature to her children and grandchildren, and remained a warm and loving presence in their lives to the end.
Marlene is survived by her three children, Janet Baker of Victoria, BC, Noel Baker of Beamsville, Ontario, and Carol Baker of Calgary, Alberta and six loving grandchildren: Emma, Medway, Liv, Noah, Magda and Blaine. She is also survived by four siblings and their spouses, including Jerry and Morah Fletcher of Campbell River, Bart and Roberta Fletcher of Quadra Island, Kim (Fletcher) and Doug McBain of White Fox, SK, and Laurie Fletcher of Calgary, AB, and their families. She will be sorely missed by long time friends, Laura Jachamowizc, Diana Kretz, “Cookie” Gardner, “Bunny” Howie and Carole Leadem, among others.
In lieu of flowers, Marlene’s family suggests donations to Campbell River Hospital Foundation: https://crhospitalfoundation.ca/ and/or the Campbell River Hospice Society: https://www.crhospice.ca/.
One of her parting wishes was to have her family and friends gather after the threat of Covid-19 had abated in the summer of 2022. Marlene’s family will be hosting a celebration of her life on Saturday, July 23 at 1:30pm. Please join us at the Maritime Heritage Centre, Thulin Rooms, to share memories.
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