Ardys Lowry Baker passed away at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona on the evening of May 9, 2019. Her husband, John Baker, and her daughter, Jennifer Carraher of Dallas, Texas, were
present at her passing. She was 82 years of age.
“Ardie” as everyone called her, was born in Evanston, Illinois to Charles C. and Grace Petersen Lowry on May 13, 1936. Ardie spent her early years in Evanston and attended elementary school there. Then, a change in her father’s career took the family to Ohio at which Ardie completed her secondary schooling and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School. Once again, a career change brought Ardie and her family back to Evanston where she attended Northwestern University, proudly was a member of Alpha Phi sorority, and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, and married Guy Wilbor.
The marriage produced three children: Scott Wilbor (Kathy) of Tucson, Arizona; Jennifer Carraher (Chris) of Dallas, Texas, and Glenn Wilbor (Lisa) of San Diego, California. All three children survive her along with her first husband, Guy Wilbor. This marriage later ended in a divorce.
On July 2, 1988, Ardie married John Baker, a marriage which not only bloomed, but remained a well-spring for each of the parties. John Baker survives as do each of three children he brought into the marriage: David Baker (Karen) of Northville, Michigan, Sharon Baker Burgard of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Diane Baker (John) of Boularderie Center, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Ardie was close to all of the six children, their partners and her ten grandchildren, her nephew, John Berkey of Loreto, Mexico and her grand-niece, Ella Grace Berkey of Wilmington, North Carolina. She was the focal point that brought each of the melded family members together.
Ardie’s gifts were manifold and welcoming to others. She loved people, cared deeply for each of them and worked from a compassionate and a non-judgmental base of common sense and moral standards. She was a listener who loved others and life-it-self. It proved to a magnet for a life-time of friends and family.
Ardie was also a woman of strong passion that illuminated her central core. Her passions were three-fold: travel to experience the world, music which touched the soul and united the generations, and an intense and ever evident love of life itself.
She travelled much of the world due to her early trips to Europe with her parents and in later years with her husband, John. Together they picked each trip, planned every hotel and route, and feasted on the wonders and similarities of people throughout the world. They rode elephants in Thailand, watched with astonishment the incredible transformation of China, and explored the Great Barrier Reef and the rain forests of Australia. It was their joint passion which they lived to the hilt.
Ardie’s second passion was playing the piano. Classically trained by her pianist mother, Ardie played the piano every day throughout her life and within days of her final illness. The passion was real and an expression of her core strength and her unity with the classical culture. In sum, it was her means of solace.
The third of her passions was the love of life itself. She was fully engaged each day, cherished and nurtured each relationship, and always sought to find and to share the sunshine, the beauty and the promise of every moment. She was an extraordinary human being. I am honored to have had the opportunity to share some of my life with her.
Ardie was, as the Bible says:
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.’’
-Proverbs 31:10 New International Version
And so, she was and will always be ….
A celebration of Ardie’s life will be held later in the year.
Donations to The American Cancer Society in her honor would be most welcome.