Margaret Ann Baker: December 7, 1947 – November 2, 2022
Margaret Ann Baker passed away peacefully on November 2, 2022, from complications associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She was born on December 7, 1947, in Long Beach, California, to parents Willis Daniel Baker and Mary (O’Rourke) Baker. Margaret graduated summa cum laude from Western High School Anaheim, California, in 1965 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from California Western University in Point Loma in 1969, where she met her future husband, Bradford Baker.
Margaret and Brad moved to Carpinteria after college, when Brad began working for the business started by his father, Aluminum Filter Company (ALFCO). They lived near the factory on Cedar Lane until they built their dream house off Padaro Lane, where they could be next to the ocean, which was a central part of their lives.
Margaret obtained her teaching credentials and an MA in special education from UC Santa Barbara, as well as a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara. She was a certified mediator serving the Superior Court of Santa Barbara, California.
Margaret had an unbroken record of service in education. She began her career teaching elementary school for the Carpinteria Unified School District and later moved to curriculum and program development for grades K-9. She served on the Board of Trustees of Crane School and Laguna Blanca School. In addition, she served as a counselor for St. Vincent’s School and a therapist for both Cottage Care Center and Project Recovery, which are rehabilitation programs focused on treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse.
Margaret served on the Board of Directors for Cottage Health System, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District, the Serena Cove Owner’s Association, the Padaro Lane Association, It’s for the Kids Foundation, the Dream Foundation, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Santa Barbara.
Margaret always gave top priority to her children, grandchildren, and her friends. She was known for being able to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything. Margaret was unwaveringly generous with her time and energy in support of causes that benefited the community and those who were in need or were underrepresented. She worked tirelessly to support the things that gave her fire in her life: Cottage Hospital, the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Laguna Blanca School, Crane School, and many others. Working to solve problems and make improvements in important systems gave her purpose and energy. She cared deeply about the community and everyone in it.
Margaret always said exactly what she thought – her lack of a filter made her many great friends and some enemies, which didn’t bother her at all. Most important, she treated everyone equally – your social status or title meant nothing to her. She was going to learn all about your life, your hobbies, and your interests, and she always genuinely cared.
She had a diverse group of friends because she always wanted to be challenged, learn people’s perspectives and backgrounds, and she truly cared about making people’s lives better – or at least more fun. Among her many loves were her dogs and cats, fast cars, the beach, baking pies, cooking, entertaining, traveling, eating at great restaurants, bringing people together, being generous, and sparking engaging conversations. When she wasn’t at a board meeting you could often find her walking with her dogs, friends, and family at the beach.
She is survived by her three children: Anne Marie Baker (Siegel) of Napa, married to Rudy Siegel; Brian Bradford Baker of Los Angeles, married to Greg Oehler; and Elizabeth Serena Baker of Ojai, married to Nathan Rellergert; and four grandchildren: Bradford Louis Siegel, Sydney Serena Siegel, Jameson Louis Rellergert, and Declan Theodore Rellergert. She has a brother, Willis (Bill) Daniel Baker, and sisters Barbara Joan Baker and Mary Ann Phillips (deceased). She was predeceased by her husband, Bradford Louis Baker, in 1990.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to foundations that meant so much to her: The ALS Association, the Cottage Health System, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. A celebration of life will be held in the Spring of 2023.