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Ruth M. Baker

April 13, 1932 January 30, 2023
Ruth M. Baker
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Obituary for Ruth M. Baker

Ruth M. (Kinnunen) Baker passed away on Monday, January 30 at age 90. She was the wife of Ralph W Baker Sr. both of Gettysburg. She was born in the Bronx, NY on April 13, 1932 to Matti and Hanna (Pouttu) Kinnunen, she was a first generation Finnish American. At age 10 they moved to Worcester, Mass., she graduated from Worcester High School and entered nurses training at Worcester Memorial Hospital graduating in 1953 as an RN. She headed south to Florida, bought a car and worked her way to California and back to Florida where she met the Amy family. Mrs. Amy was also an RN and invited her to come to Saegertown, PA. Ralph met the Amys in 1957 while home on leave from the Coast Guard. Unbeknownst to Ralph, the Amys had been promoting him to Ruth long before they met in church the 1st Sunday in February of 1959. Six months later they were married in Paxton, Mass by Ralph’s father the Reverend Ralph Baker and Ruth’s Great Uncle the Reverend Holkaunen from Finland. After raising 3 children in Hanover Pa, she went back to work at the Hanover VNA. After several years, the National VNA started to certify nurses in certain fields starting with Geriatric Specialties. Ruth completed 4 case studies and passed a 6 hour written test in Philadelphia and became the 17th nurse in the United States to be certified as a Geriatric Nurse Specialist. She was promoted to Director of Patient care at the VNA and later became certified as a VNA Administrator. She was given the task in the 1970’s to develop and set up a Hospice Program which was a new concept in Home Care. She became a patient in this very system. After retirement in 1993, she and Ralph spent several winters in Myrtle Beach and spent 7 weeks driving to California and back. They spent 64 wonderful years together. She is survived by Ralph and her 3 children, Barbara Edwards (David Spertzel), Betsy Peck (Billy Peck) and Ralph W Baker Jr. (Darby Baker), 5 grandchildren and 5 ½ great grandchildren. Besides her parents she is preceded in death by her brother Allen. There will be no services at this time. Memorial contributions may be made to the VNA of Hanover & Spring Grove, 440 Madison St., Hanover, PA 17331 and Adams County Office for Aging/Meals on Wheels, 318 W Middle St., Gettysburg, PA 17325. And from Ruth’s family, a very special thank you to Ruth’s hospice aide Marsha Spangler, who has 40 years of service with the VNA. She was hired by Ruth in 1983 and all these years later took such loving care of her. Also to Norma, Ruth’s nurse for over 18 months….Two truly special woman. Online tributes and condolences can be made at

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