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Mary Whetsell Baker

March 4, 1926 ~ August 25, 2019 (age 93)

Mary Catherine Hutto Whetsell Baker of 1452 Duncan Chapel Road Bowman, South Carolina entered into eternal rest on Sunday morning, August 25, 2019, surrounded by her family after living a full, rich, and productive life.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at the St. George United Methodist Church in St. George, South Carolina with The Reverend Doctor Theron Smith officiating.   Burial services will follow at the Duncan Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Bowman, South Carolina.  The family will receive friends and guests at a visitation one hour before the service at 10:00 AM in Parler Hall of the Methodist church in St. George.  They may also call at the home. Bryant Funeral Home of St. George is in charge of arrangements

Pall Bearers are: Kent Whetsell, Britton Whetsell, Nathan Behie, Kyle Mansfield, Yuri Kowalski, Alan Brockington, Adam Taylor, Michael Jones, Daniel Horlbeck, William Horlbeck, Dennis Haigler, and Danny Hutto.

Mary was a native of Providence in Orangeburg County, the daughter of the late Hannah Josephine Rhode and John Julius Hutto. She was born on March 4, 1926 and joined the Providence United Methodist Church at an early age.  She was a longtime member of Duncan Chapel United Methodist Church.  At her passing she was a member of the St. George United Methodist Church.  She was a graduate of Providence High School where she was an accomplished student and an outstanding basketball player.  She graduated from Lander College (University) in the Class of 1947 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics.  Shortly after graduation she married Kenneth A. Whetsell who predeceased her in 1976.  Later she was married to Keith LeGette Baker.  Mary was a vital, well respected, and contributing member of her church and community throughout her life.  She was a homemaker, a school teacher, and a home economist for the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities.

Mary was the epitome of a Southern Lady.  Always appropriately attired and dressed for any occasion, she persistently carried herself with elegance, grace, and poise in any situation.  She was a friend to all, exhibited compassion and empathy to everyone, and granted kindness and understanding to anyone fortunate to know her.  On more than one occasion persons, including strangers, would complimentary say, “Lady, You sure know how to wear a hat”.

Mary loved, cherished and was dedicated to her family and home.  Using her distinctive home economics talents, every approaching season and holiday was greeted by her with appropriate seasonal decorations that accented the theme and meaning of each one.  Her table was always expressively set and held a spread fit for a feast.  More often than not on these occasions, she would gather her family and those others present in a circle and offer remembrances, words of wisdom, and encouragement befitting the occasion from her perspective.  She would then eloquently offer a blessing of grace to which her Lord would surely hear and listen.  She sought peace and encouraged understanding in whatever the situation at hand.  She loved to travel and work in her yard.  Her travels took her to many destinations in the United States and around the world.  She treasured being able to visit and experience the joy of seeing and being present at those places that she had studied and learned about as a student.  Her gardens and yard were evidence of her love for nature and for all of God’s creation.

Mary is survived by her husband, Keith L. Baker of the home, a daughter, Katherine Whetsell Black (Pat) of Cameron, two sons, Kenneth Arthur Whetsell, Jr. (Pat) of Bowman, and John Tiller Whetsell (Beverly) of Santee, a step-son, Boyd L. (Sue) Baker, of Johns Island, step-son-in-law, John Holbeck, of Charleston a sister Peggy H. Haigler (Gilmore) of Cameron, eight grandchildren, Lauren Whetsell Behie, Ashley Whetsell Mansfield, Kent Whetsell, Mary Paige Black Kowalski, Meagan Whetsell Brockington, Britton Whetsell, Eleanor Black Taylor, and Kristen Cook Jones,  four step-grandchildren, Jane Baker Birkelbach, Alex Baker, Daniel Horlbeck, William Horlbeck, eighteen great-grandchildren and seven step great-grandchildren, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.  Mary was predeceased by a brother, John Daniel Hutto of Providence and a step-daughter, Gretchen B. Holbeck.

The family wishes to thank those care givers and others who cared for Mary during her illness, including Pam Crisp of Homestead Hospice Care, Mariam Miller, Felicia Falls, Bernice Sumpter, and Circle of Love Care Givers. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to either Homestead Hospice Care or Duncan Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund.

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