Betty Rogers Baker
April 21, 1924 – June 2, 2019
Betty Rogers Baker (Mrs. Robert Henry “Rennie” Baker) died on Sunday, the 2nd of June 2019, in Houston. She was 95 years of age.
She was born on the 21st of April 1924, in Eastland, Texas, to Florence Stoker Rogers and Woodville Jefferson Rogers. Betty grew up in San Antonio with her younger sister, Christine. Her father was a prominent trial attorney and politician, and her mother was a homemaker. Her father taught his daughters to shoot, hunt and play all the popular sports.
Betty and Christine were city girls, taking ballet and tap lessons. They also loved to visit their grandparents on their farms in North Texas (Melissa and McKinney). Betty and Christine were very musical and performed as a singing duet on the local radio and even at the San Antonio City Jail for Women. Betty spent every summer at Camp Arrowhead and was a counselor there when she was older. Betty graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1941 where she was president of her sorority, Yemmessee. She was also a member of the noted drill team “Lassos” that performed for Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. Betty had vivid memories of the march from the D.C. train station to the Capitol, in step all the way while twirling her Lasso!
She attended The Hockaday School Junior College in Dallas for one year before attending the University of Texas, graduating in 1945 with a major in Spanish. After graduation her knowledge of Spanish was key to wartime work at the San Antonio Post Office checking for German secret code coming out of Mexico and Latin America. She enjoyed using her Spanish even into her later years.
At the University she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. While in “pledge line,” she met Rennie Baker, and that was the beginning of a romance and marriage that lasted fifty-five years until his death in 2001. This was a happy marriage of two very compatible people: they were fun-loving, singing and dancing together, enjoying sports and the outdoors with their four children. Under Rennie’s leadership they had five mixed doubles championships in tennis, and Betty even had a singles championship. Later they both took up golf and had many happy times playing golf with friends in Houston, traveling and at their home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They loved the mountains and rivers of Jackson Hole and enjoyed spending summers at their house just down the street from Rennie’s brother and sister-in-law, Betty (High) and Burke Baker.
Betty loved Mexican and European culture, art and music. Rennie accompanied her to Mexico and Europe, visiting art museums and attending concerts. They would trade off a museum for her, a sports event for him. They were rarely separated, and when his health declined she was his tireless assistant and favorite golf buddy.
Betty had the energy to handle four children and was involved in their various activities, including tennis tournaments, Little League, softball, Brownies and numerous school events. She was head of the AFS exchange student committee at Memorial High School for a number of years, selecting and assisting the exchange students and their families.
Betty was a volunteer nurse’s aide in high school and college. Later she was a member of the Junior League of Houston and worked in a children’s clinic. She was a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and a member of DAR. As a member of the River Oaks Garden Club she loved working in the gardens of Bayou Bend. She was president of the Women’s Golf Association of Houston Country Club where she organized and played in many tournaments.
She was a life-long Episcopalian. Her parents did not attend church, so Betty and Christine went to church together with friends and joined the Episcopal Church as teenagers. She was active in the Altar Guild at St. Francis Episcopal Church and later was a member at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole.
Betty enjoyed many summers in Jackson Hole with Rennie and also after his death. She was grateful for the thoughtful attention of her nephews and their wives who lived just down the street in Jackson Hole: Burke Baker III and wife Carole, Bob Baker and wife Sharon and Brandon Baker and wife Kay. Betty spent two happy and entertaining years at Belmont Village Hunters Creek where she enjoyed the wonderful staff and fellow residents (still dancing!).
Betty is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert Henry Baker; and her sister Christine Rogers Sawtelle Hart. She is survived by her children, Robert Henry (Rennie) Baker, Jr. and his wife Margaret Napier Baker of Houston, and their children Robert Henry Baker III, William Burke Baker, and Mary Ann Napier Baker; Beth Baker Callaway and her husband Richard F. Callaway of Houston; and their children Robert Baker Callaway and his wife Allison Callaway, and Sarah Callaway Sulma and her husband J. Scott Sulma; Lucy Baker Moorman and her husband R. Hal Moorman of Brenham; and their children Ted Clark Moorman and his wife Sara Moorman, Lydia Moorman Hattrup and her husband Ed Hattrup, Peter Baker Moorman and his wife Kelsea Moorman, Jeff Baker and his wife Suzie Reed Baker of Austin, and their son Daniel Reed Johnson and his wife Barbara Luengas Johnson of Austin. She also has five great-grandchildren: Evelynn Elisabeth Moorman, Della Grace Moorman, William Henry Moorman, Stella Rose Hattrup and Thomas Richard Callaway.
A memorial service and celebration of her life is to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Friday, the 21st of June, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston, where the the Rev. Alex Graham and the Rev. Chad Martin will officiate.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent Bagby Parish Hall.
Please visit Mrs. Baker’s online memorial tribute at geohlewis.com where words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with her family.
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
717 Sage Road
Betty Rogers Baker
June 9, 2019
Dear Baker family: Betty was a force of nature. The knot that binds your family kept her going for a vigorous 95 years. Beth, you were especially attentive over these last years. Her passion for life and her energy are inspirational. I am blessed to have known Betty. Much love to all, Martha
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
IN THE CARE OF