LaRene Baker (1921-2018)


LaRene Baker of Colusa died peacefully on July 10, 2018 at Rideout Hospital in Marysville. LaRene was born on July 14, 1921. In the 1930s she moved with her parents, Robert and Margaret Miller and her siblings to California, settling in Yuba City. She graduated from Yuba City High School and attended cosmetology school in Marysville.

On June 29, 1940 LaRene married Ernest Baker. The couple was living in Biggs, California when their first child, Peggy was born. They moved to Gridley in 1946 where sons James and David were born. In 1952 the family moved to Colusa. LaRene and Ernie were married 57 years until his death in 1998.

LaRene was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Colusa for 62 years where she was active in living out her faith including serving as an elder and as a member of the committee that called the Reverend Tom Tripp to the church in 1986.

LaRene was a member of the Colusa Regional Medical Center Auxiliary. At an awards luncheon in 2015 she was recognized for 40 years of dedicated service. During that time LaRene provided 15,424 hours of volunteer assistance. As part of her service LaRene chaired the Tele-Care program coordinating fifteen volunteers providing a check-in service to elderly people confined to their homes.

LaRene was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She enjoyed choosing gifts for her great grandchildren, and following her family on social media. She lived independently in her own home until a few weeks before her death. She loved to cook and contributed family favorites to holiday gatherings, including her locally famous lemon meringue pies.

LaRene had an artistic side she expressed through oil painting. For years she gathered weekly with good friends Lucille Fitch and Bernice Zoller to paint and socialize. She also created flower arrangements, often with flowers from her own garden, to grace the church sanctuary and hospital.

As well as gardening, LaRene enjoyed other outdoor pursuits. She was a member of the Colusa Golf and Country Club and golfed into her eighties. Fort Bragg was a favorite vacation spot and the site of several memorable family reunions. LaRene celebrated her eighty-second birthday with a canoeing adventure on Upper Salmon Lake in the Sierras.

In addition to husband Ernie, LaRene is preceded in death by her son Jim (1970) and son-in-law Dale Townzen (2014). She is survived by daughter Peggy Townzen of Colusa, son David (Leuan) of Auburn, California, five grandchildren: Darren Townzen (Muff) of Colusa, Cammie Simpson (Rob) of Newberg, Oregon, Patrick Townzen (Jaime) of Seal Beach, California, Joel Baker (Ashley) of Billund, Denmark, and Aaron Baker of Oakland, California, and eight great grandchildren: Paige and Mollie Townzen, Alek and Sophie Simpson, Dani and Kara Townzen, Evelynn and Daphne Baker.

A memorial service celebrating LaRene’s life will be held Thursday, July 26 at 11:00 am in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Colusa. A reception will follow in Fellowship Hall. Donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 326 Jay Street, Colusa, California 95932, or to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of
 McNary-Moore Funeral Service – FD-410 • (530) 458-2111