Gertrude Singleton

February 3, 1924 – November 5, 2015


Gertrude Singleton (Trudy Baker) was born February 3, 1924 in a coal mining camp near Pomeroy, Ohio.  When she was 5, the family moved to Senecaville, Ohio where she graduated as valedictorian of her high school class in 1942.

After graduation she attended Dyke and Spencerian Trudy Baker pictures_0001eCollege of Commerce and worked as a legal secretary and as a newspaper reporter while she saved money for college. She attended Maryville College in Tennessee and graduated Cum Laude in 1953.

Trudy Baker pictures_0002Trudy had been interested in becoming a missionary since she was a child. After graduation, she worked through the Presbyterian Church, as a teacher and then director of the Marina Neighborhood House in Puerto Rico. There she me Lewis Baker who was also a missionary in Puerto Rico. They were married at Marina Presbyterian Church in Mayaguez in 1958.

groupTrudy and Lewis returned to the United States as they prepared to become missionaries in Colombia, South America. Trudy (or Gertrude as she was called by her family) was staying with her mother when Linda was born in Ohio. Here she is pictured standing next to her mother (in the black coat) in a Singleton family picture in 1960.

Trudy Baker pictures_0003Trudy loved children and would have had a large family if she had been able to. She was a wonderful mother to daughters Linda and Margaret. Margaret’s death in 1971 was one of her great sorrows.

The Bakers spent 20 years in Colombia as Presbyterian Missionaries. Some of the other missionaries jokingly called the Bakers house “Hotel Trudy”. There was always room for one more. Trudy’s love for children meant that much of her work was with children. She set up rural school libraries, coordinated music camps and was always available to listen.

Trudy Baker pictures_0004ecIn 1981 the Bakers retired from the mission field and Lewis worked on his brother’s dairy farm. Both continued were continued church related activities through Calvary Presbyterian Church and the Synod of Alaska Northwest serving on Hunger Committees, Mission Committees, Church Development Committees. Trudy was the first Moderator of Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Seattle.

After Lewis retired from the dairy farm they purchased a fifth wheeler and had many trips in it. They crossed the country visiting friends and relatives. They even spent one year living in the RV and doing volunteer work.

Trudy Baker pictures_0006Trudy continued working with children, but probably her greatest joy was becoming grandmother to Anne..

Although Trudy’s memory failed in her last years, she never lost her sense of humor. And she maintained her interest in, and love of, friends, family, and people in general.

She is survived by her  daughter Linda, Trudy Baker pictures_0017son-in-law Chris, and daughter Anne Johnson of Kirkland, WA.

She expressed her wish that any memorial gifts be contributed through Enumclaw Calvary Presbyterian Church to help pay for Colombian Presbyterian pastor’s salaries.

You may download Gertrude’s  obituary  here  as a PDF file with many more pictures.

One Response to “Gertrude Singleton”

  • Rena MaryCharles Pride Benoit says:

    Trudy and my dad, Charles H. Pride, (Rusty), were first cousins. We were always so proud of the impact she and Lewis were making on others, sharing their love of Christ.I remember the last time she and her sister came home to Tennessee to visit during a Pride reunion. She was always such a sweet person we loved her.So sorry to just be hearing of her death. I lost my mother in 2002 and dad in 1997. I pray that you continue to be wrapped in the arms of Jesus, Linda. Love to you and the family. MaryCharles Pride Benoit and husband Greg.
    Defuniak Springs, Florida.

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