On October 26, 2018, Virginia T. (Tasheff) Baker (Mom, Baba, Super Baba, Ginny, Ginka), peacefully stopped breathing in her living room chair with her daughter at her side.
Born September 27, 1921, at 53 Forest Street in Gloversville, she was one of the twin daughters of her Bulgarian immigrant parents, Stoil and Petra Tasheff. As it turned out, 53 Forest Street would be her home for the next 66 years of her life.
On August 14, 1949, she married Henry T. Baker and had a son, Carl Ten Eyck Baker, and a daughter, Caren Anne Baker.
The 53 Forest Street was the home of Tasheff’s Grocery operated by “Ginny and Hank” until their retirement in 1987. Aside from assisting with the store and raising her children, she did a number of things: Sunday School Teacher; Den Mother; one of the founders and a teacher in the first Gloversville Head Start program; Brownie and Girl Scout Leader; bridge teacher at the Gloversville YWCA and Senior Center (where she met and made some of her best friends); Meals on Wheels volunteer; Gloversville Library Volunteer; a reader to first graders with the school assist reading program; Board of Directors of the Getman Home; and an active member of the Fremont Street Methodist Church (now Foothills UMC).
She was awarded a Life Membership in the Gloversville PTA and on April 30, 2005, she was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” of the Gloversville Enlarged School District.
Her nature was that of the artist and the craftsmen. Initially her artistry was limited to homemade Christmas cards, Halloween costumes, and inventive birthday cakes. Later in life, she became a doll maker and basket weaver. She even dabbled in painting but her truest love was getting her hands dirty and molding clay.
She began working with clay after an “inspiring” trip to Italy. Teaching herself pottery and sculpting, she produced creative pots and urns, sculptures and busts, small utile items and grand decorative pieces. She was still “getting dirty” and producing the last week of her life and often said that when she worked with clay she felt “in touch with her ancestors.”
She enjoyed being productive. This included crocheting hundreds of baby blankets and making thousands of yellow flags for a field of remembrance. She loved music and would simply burst into song. Her favorite place and time were summers at Canada Lake. She was a natural environmentalist, reducing, reusing and recycling before anyone had heard those terms.
She was the last of her family, predeceased by her sister, Mary Tasheff; and her brother, James Tasheff; and her dear twin sister, Magdalena (“Maggie”) Folmsbee.
Henry and Ginny Baker were married for more than 65 years until his passing in 2014.
Having always taken great pride in her children, Carl and Caren, and supporting them through all their pursuits, it was their great reward to be able to be leaned on as she aged. They accomplished this with the loving assistance of her “other daughter” Margaret MacGregor, the rock upon which her late in life care rested.
She saw her grandchildren, Rebecca with her husband Doug, Christopher with his wife Vanessa, Arica, Jessica and Aaron, blossom into successful adults and she became “Super Baba” when her great-grandchildren Talia and Petra, arrived.
She loved Carl’s wife, Sandra, and the entire Stoffolano family: parents, Lucy and Dominick, who predeceased her; sisters, Sharon and her husband Charlie, Barbara and her husband Steve, and their children Brad, Nicole, Brian and his wife Erin.
She was well cared for by her physician and good friend, Dr. David Pesses, and his wonderful caring staff, as well as her many dedicated care givers.
Don’t even think of buying flowers! Honor her by reducing, reusing and recycling, or making a donation to Foothills UMC, 17 Fremont Street, Gloversville, NY 12078, or The Giving Circle Africa Midwife Project (https://www.thegivingcircle.org/wordpress/global/midwife-project/).
A celebration of her life will be held at Foothills UMC, 17 Fremont Street, Gloversville, NY 12078 at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 3.
As she would sing to all of us “There’s a smile on my face for the whole human race.”