Betty H. Baker (Hartranft) passed quietly from natural causes on July 18, 2013 at Huntington Living Center, Waterloo.
Family and friends may call at the Doran Funeral Home, 4 E. Bayard St., Seneca Falls, on Monday (July 22) from 4 to 7 PM. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday (July 23) at 10 AM at St. Patrick’s Church, Seneca Falls, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Reverend James Fennessy, Pastor. Burial will be in Fayette Rural Cemetery, Town of Fayette, NY. For those wishing to remember Betty, in lieu of flowers, Betty’s wish was for contributions may be made to: Mercy Flight Central, 2420 Brickyard Rd., Canandaigua, NY 14424 or Seneca Falls Historical Society, 55 Cayuga St., Seneca Falls, NY 13148.
Betty was predeceased by her husband, Richard M. Baker, in October, 1997. She is survived by all eight of the couple’s children: William (Nancy) Cazenovia, Mary Beth Stowell, Seneca Falls, Carol Baker-Belscher (Dan) of Clearwater, Florida, Kathleen Treat (Steven) of Baldwinsville, Martin of Liverpool, Bruce (Kelli) of Canandaigua, Susan Socia (Charles) of Liverpool, and Megan Liston of Sea Cliff, NY.
Betty took great joy from her 15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren who regularly surrounded her with their love and affection. She always called her family her “greatest accomplishment.”
Betty was born in Fayette, NY to Vern and Ethel Reed Hartranft and was a life-long resident of Seneca County. She was valedictorian of Mynderse Academy Class of 1946 and graduated from Freeman Business School in Geneva, NY in 1948. Betty went to work at Capital Finance Corporation in Seneca Falls soon thereafter.
Betty and Richard were married in 1949 in St. Patrick’s Church, Seneca Falls where Betty remained a devoted communicant, choir member for a quarter century, lector, church council member, active participant on numerous festival and bazaar committees, and supporter of the parish.
Betty stopped working outside the home in order to raise her family but eventually returned to work in the Seneca Falls School District, from which she retired in 1990 as principal’s secretary at Cady Stanton Elementary.
Betty loved to travel but was always comforted to return home to the multitude of organizations that valued her talents. Witness the fact she was named Volunteer of the Year 1994, primarily for work with the Seneca Falls Historical Society. For 15 years, Betty played the key role in an educational program that partnered the historical society and 4th graders in school districts all around central New York, performing in the series “Taking Tea With Mrs. Becker.” Betty’s gentle manners and flair for portraying the character had a lasting impact on the program and the students who visited the Beckers of the 19th century.
Betty was recognized by the Women’s Coalition as “Woman of the Year” in 1995 and was chosen Seneca County Outstanding Senior Citizen for 2004. Her involvement in the greater community included: Founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Town of Fayette Historical Society and service as secretary of that board, former member of the American Legion Auxiliary, life member of the Sampson Salts Auxiliary and volunteer docent at the Sampson WWII Navy Museum, member of the Guild and Altar Society for St. Patrick’s Church where she also taught religious education, and volunteered for the American Red Cross, Girl Scouts, and served as a Cub Scout leader.
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