Editorial: At age 100 she’s a model for us all

At 100, a model for all
Wow. That’s the first reaction I had when reading today’s front-page story about Mary Baker turning 100 this Saturday. It’s not just that she made this rare milestone, but that she continues to be so active.
She volunteers at Porter Hospital two days a week, four hours each shift, greeting folks with an empathy that gets to the heart of the issue: “Everyone coming through that door has a problem, or they wouldn’t be coming here,” Mrs. Baker said in an interview with reporter John Flowers. “It’s my job to help them and relieve some of that stress.”
It’s a job she knows well, having served in that capacity for most of the past 38 years — since 1980, during which she has logged an astonishing 12,500 hours of volunteer service. And she’s not alone as a volunteer at Porter, joining 200 others in one capacity or another.
Her story is sweetened by the years she and her husband, the late John Baker, owned and ran Baker’s Jewelry Store in downtown Middlebury, but what we most enjoyed is her insistence to keep moving and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
“I don’t sit in front of a TV, and I never have,” she told us. “I’ve always worked hard, and so did my husband.”
That’s as sure a formula to a healthy, well-lived life, as any doctor could prescribe. Happy Birthday, Mary, and thanks to you, and others, for all the years of service.
Angelo Lynn

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