Folsom Funeral Service

Baker, Allen N.

Baker, Allen 

Allen Nichols Baker, a lifetime resident of Westwood died Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Ellis Nursing Home in Norwood.  He was 92. Allen was born August 9, 1923 in Norwood, Massachusetts to Harold Nelson and Sarah (Nichols) Baker. He grew up in Westwood, the town he loved and served for many years.   

Allen was a member of the first graduating class from Westwood High School in 1941. He worked for Winslow Brothers and Smith Company in Norwood before joining the United States Navy in April 1942. Allen served in the South Pacific as a radio operator. He was awarded four bronze stars for his heroism and meritorious service in the Phillipines, Australia, New Zealand, and the Solomon Islands. After his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1945 he began working for New England Telephone, where he was a repairman for forty years until his retirement in 1986.  

 In 1949 Allen was baptized and became a member of the First Baptist Church of Westwood where he remained an active member for his entire life. He served on various church committees and boards throughout the years including the Westwood Council of Churches, the Music Committee, the Building Committee,(of which he chaired), the Nominating Committee, the Board of Missions, the Board of Deacons, and the Teaching Parish Committee. Allen and his wife Louise together were delegates for The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts (TABCOM) from 1979-1991.  From 1966-1997 he was the Charter Organization Representative with Boy Scout Troop 3. 

Allen served on many committees in Westwood throughout the years. He was appointed to the Conservation Commission in 1977 and served for ten years, both as an associate member, the Chairman, and a member of the Shade Tree Committee. Allen also served on the Veterans Park Committee, the Westwood Cenntenial Committee, the leader of the Time Capsule Committee, and the Westwood Cemetery Committee, later becoming their horticultural consultant.  He was a long time member of the Westwood Historical Society and served on their board from 1984-1987.  In 1993 he was awarded the Quarter Century Award by the Westwood Historical Society, “an honor which is given annually to a Westwood resident or couple who has made an outstanding contribution to the community for more than twenty-five years, making Westwood a better place to live”.

Allen had many interests throughout his lifetime including HAM radio, bee keeping, and wood working.  Gardening was something he started as a young boy, more out of necessity, and that interest remained with him his entire life. As a young man he bought a lifetime membership to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for fifty dollars.  More than once he mentioned how wise that purchase was and how much he had received from it.  After retirement he became a Master Gardener and encouraged many others to do the same thing. He used his knowledge to assist the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at Elm Bank as a telephone volunteer, answering questions related to gardening.   He also did filing for them.  For many years he would volunteer as a soil tester during their annual flower show.   That work earned him the prestigious Gold Medal in October 2006 for his service to the Master Gardener community which was, at that time, under the umbrella of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. In 2009 he was the first recipient of the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association’s Golden Trowel Hall of Fame Award. This award is presented to a Lifetime Master Gardener Association member “who has made exceptional contributions to the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association and whose work in the areas of horticulture, education, outreach, and leadership has enriched and strengthened the organization”.  Allen, in his over twenty years as a Master Gardener, donated more than 1000 hours of service to the Master Gardener Organization.  Other organizations he has been affiliated with are the  Eastern Massachusetts Master Gardeners’ Association, the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, New England Region, and the National Garden Clubs, Inc. 

For the past nine years he was a member of the Norwood Evening Garden Club, a group whose friendship he thoroughly enjoyed.  He began joining them when they met at the Ellis Nursing Home while his wife Louise resided there; and then became a member in 2003. 

Every year he would help at the Soil Conservation District Plant Sale held yearly at the Norfolk Agricultural School in Walpole.  He believed in giving back to the community. Allen also drove for FISH after retiring from the telephone company.

In 1954 he met and married the love of his life, Louise R. (Downie) and together they raised four children. Before he met Louise, Allen began building his own house on Hartford Street in Westwood and two years after marrying they, with their first child Kenny, moved into the house.  He lived in that house until 2011 when his health required full time care.

Allen leaves behind a son, Kenneth, and his wife Carol, of East Bridgewater; daughter, Cynthia Harriman, and her husband David, of Mesa, Arizona; and two sons, Stephen of Newton, and Robert of Medfield.  He is also survived by his seven grandchildren; Christen Parsons of East Bridgewater, David Baker, and his wife AnneMarie, of Holbrook, Caleb Harriman, and his wife MoonSun Choi, of Mafraq, Jordan, and Heidi Simonton, and her husband Jesse, of Mesa, Arizona,  and Ian, Noah, and Anneliese Harriman of Mesa, Arizona; and seven great-grandchildren; Heather, and Danielle Parsons of East Bridgewater, Nicholas and Jillian Baker of Holbrook, Enoch Harriman of Mafraq, Jordan, unborn Esther Harriman of Mafraq, Jordan, and unborn baby Simonton of Mesa, Arizona.

Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, April 26th from 4 to 8 pm at the Folsom Funeral Home, 649 High Street, Westwood.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend Allen’s funeral Wednesday at 11 am at the First Baptist Church, 808 High Street, Westwood.  Interment will follow in New Westwood Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers donations in Allen’s memory to

                                                                    First Baptist Church

                                                                    808 High Street

                                                                    Westwood, MA 02090


                                                                            or to


                                                                    Westwood Historical Society

                                                                    PO Box 2575

                                                                    Westwood, MA 02090          (kindly note in memory of Allen Baker)


                                                                            or to


                                                                  Massachusetts Master Gardener Association

                                                                  PO Box 1369

                                                                  330 Cochituate Road

                                                                  Framingham, MA 01701       (please designate Allen Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund)


would be appreciated.

The family of Allen Baker would like to express our sincere appreciation to the staff, and especially the Applewood Unit staff, at the Ellis Nursing Home in Norwood for their kind and consistent care of our Dad.  We especially want to thank Maura who served as his charge nurse for four years and helped care for our Mother many years earlier.  We also want to express our sincere thanks to Home Instead in Norwood, especially Nancy, who has been dad’s personal aide three mornings a week for more than two years, and has provided him companionship and conversation.  She helped make Dad’s last years on earth more enjoyable.


Guestbook Entries

  1. Jodelle (Badger) Balestra
    April 24th, 2016 | 8:20 am

    When I think of Allen Baker, my wanders back to my childhood at the First Baptist Church. The Bakers were always an integral part of the church and were always there. Allen was always willing to do whatever was needed and he did it with good humor.
    God bless the Bakers at this time and know that their family is etched in special place in my childhood memories.

  2. Wayne & Jan Chestna
    April 25th, 2016 | 7:21 am

    Bob…our sincere condolences to you and your family for the loss of your dad. After reading his obituary, we realize what an amazing man he was. He lived his life to the fullest and gave back 100%. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. God Bless!
    Wayne & Jan

  3. Carl DeRubeis
    April 25th, 2016 | 1:52 pm

    Bobby – As I said in my earlier text message, please accept my deepest condolences for your Dad’s passing. Although I never had the honor of meeting him, I know he was an important and integral part of your life. I was extremely impressed reading about his many interests and accomplishments. I know that you and the rest of your family will miss him. If it wasn’t so far away, I would be there in person to provide whatever degree of support I could. But you’ll be in my thoughts (and Robin’s prayers).


  4. Robin E Banks
    April 26th, 2016 | 2:41 pm

    I will forever be grateful for having known and worked with Allen Baker. We spent untold hours working together on the Hort Line at Elm Bank organizing research articles,culling out everything obsolete, filing and refiling. We’ve been replaced, of course, by computers, but they’ll never supply the heart and humor that Allen gave. He was a very special guy!

  5. Jane Ellen Nugent
    April 30th, 2016 | 9:16 pm

    I volunteered in the Hort Info booth with Allen at several Flower Shows and i always would see him around Elm Bank. I attended the Medals celebration dinner when he was honored for all the work he did for MassHort. I have known many people in my life and Allen was one person who always touched my heart. Very funny, a trooper, a hard worker, a liver of life. I have nothing but admiration for him. He is a loss to this world. I am truly sorry for his passing.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service