Bernice “Bebe” Baker


Image of Bernice "Bebe" Baker

Bernice “Bebe” Baker

Bebe O’Brien was born April 15, 1937 on Capitol Hill to Bernice and John O’Brien, and was raised in Madrona with siblings John, Jewell, Maryanne and Gene. A good Catholic girl with a naughty streak, she attended Holy Names Academy (affectionately referred to as Homely Dames) and was told more than once by the local cop to get her tail back home.

She worked at Washington Mutual off and on from age 16 until she retired. At her retirement party they gave her back her original application in a frame. Her work experience listed hanging clothes at I. Magnin and candy striping at Cabrini Hospital (aka our Nana’s private spa).

Her high school best friend Marla’s boyfriend Buzz introduced her to his best buddy, a Port Townsend boy named Skip Baker, and it was on. After a quick career as a United flight attendant, she and Skip got married, evermore signing all their cards to each other as “The Irish Washer Woman” and “The King”.

She was a great mom to four kids, Scott, Jill, Jody and Lance, and raised us in a house where the door was always wide open to everyone.  Bonus brothers Mike and Ronnie Castle were always a fixture, and many of our friends spent their time hanging out at the Baker house.

Bebe’s penchant for fun got her in trouble a few times, like when she and Shirley Davis were chastised for dressing up in fright wigs to scare the kids at Phantom Lake Elementary on Halloween, and when they were separated for laughing too much as junior high ski bus chaperones.

She loved her grandbabies and was a staple at all Baker kids sporting events, hitting three baseball games and a track meet just a few days before she passed. The mantra our kids heard as they left her house, with a raised eyebrow and a squeeze, was always “Remember who you are and who you represent”.

Friends were so important to Mom, and she always made sure to have a stash of buddies nearby. She kept in touch with the Rogues since her days at Homely Dames. She still met regularly with her Hens, who were spinoffs from her days at Washington Mutual. She kept in touch with her SE 8th people, the Davis and Holmes families, and more recently, she made a wonderful group of friends in her Trilogy neighborhood.

Ski trips, Cabo, Europe, and Saturday night dances at the Samena Club with their buddies, including the Moores, Amstadts and Knittles. Tons of fun on the Six Pak, summer trips with a boat load of kids in the San Juans, and an all-Baker cruise just a few years ago where Skip and Bebe staked their spot on the aft deck while free-range grandkids satellited around them.

Sharp, saucy, smart and so fun, she loved horses (all animals really), cowboys, and the Blue Angels. We suspect that given another chance to walk the earth she’d come back as a cowgirl or a fighter pilot. And, always proud of her heritage, when she got her 23andMe results back indicating she was nearly 100% Irish she declared “I always knew I was a thoroughbred!”

Bebe passed away too suddenly on May 26, 2024. All are welcome to join us for a wake to celebrate Bebe:

Sunday, June 23, 2024 from 1-4pm
Trilogy Clubhouse Rainier Room
23225 NE Greens Crossing Road
Redmond WA 98053

We’re so sad to see her go but suspect she and Dad are dancing to Willie Nelson in the living room with the gang, having a blast!

So, to our Irish mama: May the road rise up to meet you, and may you be in Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead.

We love you, Bebe!

2 Responses to “Bernice “Bebe” Baker”

  • Leila edwins says:

    Bebe, I was so lucky when you and Skip moved in across the street. Hearing the wonderful laughter coming from your house was an added bonus. You were a friend from the get go and I’m missing you lots. I do have lots of great memories to remember you by, for sure the epic Christmas party !! Will miss the many visits solving the worlds problems or just sharing the neighborhood news!
    So happy you came into my life- love you lots. Leila and Little ( sending a super sized

  • Lynne Amstadt says:

    Joe and I met the Bakers in 1966 so I have known Bebe 58 years. She was a sweetheart always ready for the crazy and fun activities of the gang. We partied, vacationed, skied, danced and traveled together. In Europe we visited Ireland (how we all loved Guinness Beer!) Bebe and I watercolor, both painting a horse last time we talked on her birthday. I can’t believe I won’t hear her say, Hello Lynner ever again! We love you girlfriend and miss and your Irish smile. ❤️

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