Alethia Cecilia “Cile” Baker
Peeples- Rhoden Funeral Home
Alethia Cecilia “Cile” Baker went to be with her Lord and Savior November 15, 2021. She was born January 22, 1924 in the picturesque countryside of Estill, SC, to Reginald Earl and Mary Catherine Robert Williams. She was named Cecilia, in honor of her father’s mother, Cecilia Oswald Williams. Her sister, Mary Eleanor, eagerly greeted Alethia Cecilia. Her name is melodic and God gifted her with a beautiful contralto voice to glorify him. She loved singing in the Lawtonville Baptist Church choir.
God and country, family and friends were the resounding themes of her life. After finishing Estill High School as Valedictorian, she married Clarke Baker who loved her dearly. Cile faithfully served her family and her church. She worked tirelessly with the Women’s Missionary Union leading adults and children’s organizations and supported our American Legion Post 131 in many leadership capacities in the auxiliary. She led numerous civic organizations including the Hampton County Historical Association, The American Cancer Society, and the committee to redecorate the Estill American Legion Hut. She joined several friends in the saving and renovation of the Bull Durham Building and Estill’s first Town Hall/Jail which is now the Estill Museum. She served in leadership positions in the Hampton County Historical Society, The American Cancer Society, The Estill Music and Study Club, The Yellow Jasmine Garden Club, Estill Schools’ PTA and The Community Relations Committee for the federal prison. Cile thoroughly enjoyed her friends in the Estill (Friendship) Book Club, and the Estill Bridge Club. (Her enjoyment of cards started as a sharp 5 year old playing with her greatly beloved Papa and uncle.) Clarke and she enjoyed the Estill Supper Club and the Estill Dance Club. Clarke said that in her younger days Cile would jitterbug until she did not have a dry thread on her. In the late night hours, she was the Bookkeeper for her husband’s business, Baker Department Store and sewed beautiful clothing for her family. And oh what an excellent cook she was! She was known for her Lemon Chiffon Cakes and her Cheesecakes. Clarke would work in tandem with her as her delivery boy. She was still working in her early nineties voluntarily calling patients to remind them of their appointments at McKenzie Eye Care, her grandson’s practice.
She is predeceased by her beloved husband, George Clarke Baker, daughter, Jennie Clarke Baker, sister Mary Eleanor Rouse and nephew Reginald Rouse. She is survived by her daughters: Mary Catherine Baker Plowden (Moultrie) of Walterboro, SC, Cecilia Ann Baker McKenzie (David) of Shirley, SC, and Eleanor Clarke Baker of Bluffton, SC. She has four grandchildren: William Harper, III, David Hutchinson McKenzie, Jr. (Dr. Michelle), Cecilia Ashley McKenzie Stephens (Robbie) and Lt. Colonel Mary Eleanor McKenzie Gutierrez (Lt. Colonel Michael Joseph Gutierrez). She has four great grandchildren: McKenzie Elizabeth Drennan, Madelyn Marie McKenzie, Joseph David McKenzie and Garrett Hutchinson Gutierrez and one nephew, Dr. Jacob Dudley Rouse, Jr. From her Baker Family she has many nephews and nieces, grand nephews and nieces and great grand nephews and nieces.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Lawtonville Baptist Church on Sunday November 21, at 2PM conducted by Rev. Asbury Lawton IV and the Rev. Dr. Lamar Holley and directed by Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home of Hampton. Burial will follow in the Lawtonville Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Lawtonville Baptist Church Social Hall immediately following the burial.
The family sends heartfelt gratitude to her caregivers at the John Harter Nursing Center in Fairfax.
Those who wish may send memorials in lieu of flowers to Clarke Baker Benevolence Fund, Lawtonville Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1057, Estill, SC 29918.