Mary Ann <I>Dykes</I> Baker

Mary Ann Dykes Baker

Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois, USA
Death 22 Jul 2018 (aged 61)
Plano, Collin County, Texas, USA
Burial Cremated
Memorial ID 191647913 · View Source
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Mary Ann Baker, 61, passed away the morning of Sunday, July 22, 2018. She left this life surrounded by family, with blooming purple sage peering in through her bedroom window.

Born July 13, 1957 to Melbourne and Esther Dykes in Belleville, Illinois, Mary Ann was called early to the nursing profession — the beginning of a life committed to caring for others.

She became a registered nurse in 1977, first serving patients on the night shift at St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Belleville. She worked at hospitals in the St. Louis and Chicago areas before moving to North Texas in 1983.

In Texas, Mary Ann first worked at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. While living in The Colony with her then-husband, she gave birth to their son (A.J. Bauer) and daughter (Emily Bauer). In 1990 she moved to Flower Mound, where she raised them both herself. She worked weekends at Medical Center of Lewisville while they were young, so she could be present to support them through school and extracurricular activities. She served as a second mother to many of her children’s friends. As they grew older she increasingly took on nursing administrative duties, specializing in surgical and oncology care.

While working as Nurse Manager of the medical surgical floors at Lewisville, Mary Ann met nephrologist Dr. Bruce Baker — she started out scolding him for tormenting her nursing staff, but he would soon become the love of her life.

In 2001, Bruce hired her to serve as a chief nursing administrator and director of special projects for North Texas Kidney Disease Associates. Mary Ann played a crucial role in expanding the practice, overseeing construction of a new dialysis center, coordinating the company’s billing practices, and implementing its electronic medical records system — which remains in use to this day.

Less officially, Mary Ann also functioned as personal secretary for Bruce, who was raising children on his own while leading the company. She fell in love with his kids (Kathryn, Barrett, and Brennan), and mothered them as her own.

Bruce and Mary Ann married July 5, 2008 in Grand Cayman in a beachside ceremony that tightly bound their two families together. Though raised Catholic, Mary Ann was seeking a more suitable spiritual home base and the two joined Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. She was baptized and born again on October 24, 2010. Her faith remained a source of profound peace, fellowship, and comfort for her in the difficult years that would follow.

Later that year, a routine blood test raised concerns. In January 2011 she was diagnosed with primary plasma cell leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer. Despite showing no symptoms or discomfort, her prognosis was dire. She was in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant to staunch the cancer’s rapid progress. Incredibly, her sister Karen McCoy was a 100 percent match and generously agreed to donate cells.

Under the expert care of Dr. Estil Vance and the dedicated medical staff of Texas Oncology, Mary Ann received Karen’s transplanted cells in June 2011. She achieved remission, which she enjoyed for about 18 months before her cancer re-manifested as multiple myeloma.

While the disease made fulltime work untenable, Mary Ann spent the seven and a half years she lived with cancer enriching the lives of everyone around her. She volunteered arranging the Bibles in the pews at Prestonwood, and with BridgeBuilders to provide donated clothing to folks in need in Dallas’ Bonton neighborhood. She patiently mentored countless young nurses as they cared for her (mostly at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, but also at YunanBoya Hospital in Kunming, China). She was a compassionate and generous friend to many. She was a tireless support and counsel to her sister, children, grandchildren, and her beloved mother-in-law Betty Renfroe. She was a loving and devoted wife.

Mary Ann loved to travel, especially to Hawaii, and did so extensively with family and friends. She tended a beautiful garden, which variously served as loving refuge to ducks, squirrels, bobcats and (sometimes to her chagrin) hungry bunnies. She enjoyed golf, and she and Bruce played together whenever and wherever they could. A diehard Cowboys fan since 1983 (she never wavered, not even when they went 1-15 in 1989), she attended as many games as possible.

Most importantly to her, she never stopped living her life to its fullest. She never once questioned the challenging medical cards she was repeatedly dealt, but continued to love life in spite of them. Her faith in God never faltered. Her strength, dedication to service, no-nonsense demeanor, and indefatigable humor provided an inspiring lesson in living that will continue to affect those fortunate enough to know her. In her own words: “My story is one of a blessed and lucky life.”

Mary Ann is preceded in death by her parents and by beloved dogs Pancho Perrico VII and Frasier.

She is survived by her husband Dr. Bruce H. Baker of Plano; mother-in-law Betty Renfroe of Plano; son A.J. Bauer, PhD, of New York; daughter Emily Bauer of Lewisville; step-daughter Kathryn Baker of Thornton, Colorado; step sons Barrett Baker of Plano and Brennan Baker of New York. She is also survived by her sister and donor Karen McCoy and brother-in-law Dr. Michael McCoy, Sr., of St. Louis, Missouri, by seven grand children and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Mary Ann’s life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at the chapel at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Mary Ann’s name to BridgeBuilders or Texas Baptist Men.

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  • Created by: Greg Barrontine
  • Added: 25 Jul 2018
  • Find A Grave Memorial 191647913
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Ann Dykes Baker (13 Jul 1957–22 Jul 2018), Find A Grave Memorial no. 191647913, ; Maintained by Greg Barrontine (contributor 46887511) Cremated.