The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 10, 2013

Wilma C. Baker


Wilma Coffield Baker, age 93, of Joplin, Mo., passed away at 5:48 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at Mercy Hospital in Joplin.

Born Aug. 20, 1919, in Las Vegas, N.M., she was the daughter of the late Willard Coffield and Edith Isabel Stemmons Coffield. She lived on Navy bases in Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland. After marriage, she lived in Las Vegas, N.M., Topeka, Kan., Fort Smith, Ark., Little Rock, Ark., Carthage, Mo., Denver, Colo., Springfield, Mo., Lincoln, Neb., Tulsa, Okla., and Alton, Ill., before moving to Joplin. She graduated from Carthage Public Schools, received her degree from Drury College in Springfield, and pursued graduate study at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She was a church organist and organ instructor. In her earlier years she taught fourth grade for a year, headed the Navy Day Care in Lexington Park, Md., and served as junior librarian for the University of Nebraska Library.

A member of the Presbyterian Church, her volunteer activities included Elijah Parrish Lovejoy Memorial, Youth Development tutoring in Alton, the Soup Kitchen for Joplin Clinic and Crosslines Churches of Joplin.

On Sept. 8, 1942, she married William Bryan Baker, at Greenville, Miss. He preceded her in death on Sept. 28, 2004.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a sister, Joyce Bower, of Kansas City, Mo.; a cousin, Susan Perry, of St. James, Mo.; and niece, Mary Anne Simpson, of Springfield.

Survivors include a cousin, Mary Matteson, of La Mirada, Calif.; a niece-in-law, Ellen Rice Dempsey, of Waterford, Mich.; and a step-niece, Mary Miller, of White Bear Lake, Mo.

As per Wilma's request, no services or memorial contributions are requested.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.

Online condolences may be made at

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