|Birth: ||Feb. 5, 1932, USA|
|Death: ||Feb. 22, 2006|
PORTLAND - Ruth S. Baker, loving mother, grandmother and friend, passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 22, 2006 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Ruth was born Feb. 5, 1932, the only child of Charlotte Fineberg and attended Portland schools.
She was the long time owner and manager of Recordland, a well-known local record store exclusively to records and music operating from 1957-1991. Ruthie, as she was affectionately known, was a celebrity in her own right in Portland's music world. Her store was known locally as THE place to find any song a customer may need or want. She personally helped bring famous musicians to Portland, her favorite being Stan Kenton, who became her friend. Her customers loved her as a person, looked up to her as a mentor, admired her amazing musical knowledge and remained her special friends over the years. She loved them and that love was given back ten-fold especially during her illness.
When Ruthie retired and closed Recordland, she was recognized with a proclamation by the Portland City Council for her nearly 40 years of dedicated service to her customers and the business community. Ruthie was a successful businesswoman at a time when a few women owned and operated their own business.
After her retirement, Ruthie spent much of her time cooking and taking home-cooked meals to her family and friends. She enjoyed crafts although painting in bold colors was her favorite and would often make something special for her family and friends. She was also a jazz enthusiast and a regular at the jazz club at the Bridgeway in South Portland.
Ruthie's daughter, Roxanne notes I feel like we had different layers of relationship. Although she was my mom, she was also like a sister and good friend. She was always there for me and my family, even at the drop of the hat. She was a caretaker, always worrying and caring for others and not expecting anything in return. Only recently, I learned that many Maine musicians credited Ruthie with being their inspiration and mentor in the music world and I am so proud of her. She is one rare human being and the best mom I could have had.
Jonathan, Ruthie's son-in-law notes that Ruthie was not only his mother-in-law but also his other mom. She treated him and embraced him as if he was her own son.
Josiah, Ruthie's grandson, says Ruthie taught me so much about music . I could sing a few lines in a song and she would tell me who sang it, when it was sung, what album it was on and a few other songs by the artist even in her dying days.
Harry, Ruthie's grandson considers Ruthie his Valentine forever. I will always remember Ruthie as the queen of music.
Ruthie's close cousin, Lois Haffey considers Ruthie as a true woman of valor.
Rick Charette, children's singer and songwriter, Ruthie has touched my soul and spirit beyond measure. And in some way she has been a guiding light in my career as a songwriter and musician.
Steve Luttrell, former employee of Recordland, says Known by many as the 'Record Lady,' Ruthie worked her magic through Recordland. She encouraged and inspired many musicians over the years and will live on in their music. With the passing of Ruth Baker, we lose a living link with the 'golden age' of the Congress Street stores, the like which we will never see again.
Ruthie is survived by her only daughter, Roxanne; son-in-law Jonathan Connick; three grandchildren, Harry, Josiah, and Jonathan Jr.; a dear cousin Lois Haffey and her family in Santa Maria, Calif.; her cousin Madeline Segal and her family of Portland; and her beloved dog, Lacey.
Ruthie was predeceased by her husband, Harry Baker; her mother, Charlotte Fineberg; her cousin Josiah Grossman; and her aunt Sadie and uncle Arthur Grossman.
Roxanne would like to thank the Maine Medical staff at the Gibson Pavilion especially Dr. Craig Hurwitz and his exceptional palliative care program, Jo Weiss, Holly Maniatty, and Meryl Troop, the sign language interpreters, the staff at Cedars and nurses from VNA hospice and Maxim who provided comfort and care for Ruthie and especially Wanda Gawienowski who was always by Ruthie's side during her treatments and hospitalization, the Connick families and friends who have been there during Ruthie's illness and Rabbi Wolinsky and Rabbi Dubinsky who paid regular visits during Ruthie's hospitalization.
Services will be held at Temple Beth El, 400 Deering Ave., Portland on Monday at 1 p.m., with internment following at Mt. Sinai Cemetery, Hicks St. Portland. A mourning period will be observed Tuesday through Thursday from 7-9 p.m., at Roxanne and Jonathan's residence.
Arrangements by The Jewish Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ruthie's name to:
Palliative Care Program
Maine Medical Center
22 Bramhall St.
Portland, Maine 04102
Cancer Community Center
778 Main St.
South Portland, Maine 04106
Bet Ha'am Capital Campaign Fund
81 Campaign Fund
81 Westbrook St.
South Portland, Maine 04106
Ruth S. Baker
Harry Baker (1913 - 1996)*
Mount Sinai Cemetery
Created by: Sherrill Lilienthal
Record added: Feb 28, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13487369
Thinking of you today....hoping that you were there when Ed arrived in rock & roll heaven. Your are missed every day and thank you my friend for being there 100% for me. I hope that you know that I love and respect you forever!|
Added: Apr. 27, 2011
Added: Jan. 8, 2010
Added: Jan. 8, 2010
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