Virginia Marie (Tebbe) Baker, age 87, of Tipton, Indiana, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at Community Howard Regional Health in Kokomo, Indiana surrounded by the love and comfort of her family. She was born on October 25, 1935, in Tipton to her parents, August George (Gus) and Berniece Oleine Marie (Powell) Tebbe. Virginia married the love of her life, James Arvil Baker, on November 4, 1954, and the two enjoyed 44 years of marriage and a lifetime of memories together before Arvil passed away on February 13, 1998.
Virginia was a graduate of St. Joseph Academy, Class of 1953. Following graduation, Virginia received further education in business, after which she met Arvil and started their family. Virginia always loved the farm and spent many harvest seasons helping at A.G. Tebbe Farms. Virginia served as the Tipton County Assessor from 1974 through 1986, after which she worked at Property Systems assessing properties throughout Tipton, Howard, and other counties. Virginia always maintained the highest level of certification for her career in property assessment and was involved in review boards including the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) of both Tipton and Howard Counties. Virginia was honored to receive the Sagamore of the Wabash Award in 2003, an honorary award given by the Governor of Indiana to recognize distinguished service in serving the citizens of Indiana.
Virginia was born with a servant’s heart, and even from a young age, she enjoyed giving back to others. Through the years, she served her community diligently and impacted so many lives through her acts of service. Just to name a few, she volunteered countless hours at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in Marion and Area Five Agency on Aging & Community Services. She served as the President of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 46 for 29 years, held several officer positions in the Fifth District, and served as the Department President of the American Legion Auxiliary for the State of Indiana. Virginia was involved in Hoosier Girls’ State encouraging high school girls to learn about government and politics. She was also a member of many other organizations, including the Women’s Democrat Chapter in Tipton and the Moose Lodge, just to name a few. Virginia was also a dedicated member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, where she served on the Parish Council and other committees, such as the Rosary Society and the Daughters of Isabella, now known as St. Christopher Auxiliary. Virginia was an incredibly hard worker and was dedicated to selfless service, just one of the many legacies that will live on for generations.
As busy as Virginia was with the many organizations she selflessly served, she served her family and the Lord just as faithfully. Her faith was incredibly important to her, and it showed up in every aspect of her life. She was family-oriented, selfless, and always made time to make sure everyone around her felt loved and special. Virginia never met a stranger and never forgot to send birthday, holiday, or thinking-of-you cards to her family and friends throughout the world. Her family and friends always knew they could count on her to be there not only on the hard days, but also for the triumphs that deserved celebration. Virginia was a pillar in the Tipton community that had a far reach. She will be greatly missed by so many.
Those left to carry on Virginia’s legacy of love are her children Michael Baker (Carolyn), Sharon Burnett (Bruce), Carol Preston (Stan); grandchildren Lorie Castle, Bridget Castle (Devin), Grant Baker (Jessica), Haley Frye (Austin), Brock Baker (Mari), Sarah Burnett, Brendan Burnett (Katie), Emily Burnett; great grandchildren Jordan Castle (Amanda), Jacob Castle, Justin Castle, Shanntelle Castle, Brooke Baker, Isabella Baker, Alberto Baker, Devon Baker; great-great grandson Killian Castle; siblings Robert Tebbe (Zonda), Helen Matthews, Alice Gray, Leona Stout (John), Leonard Tebbe, George Tebbe; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Virginia is also survived by so many that she loved and cared for like family, including members of the church and American Legion, and many special friends that also called her mom.
Virginia was welcomed into Heaven by her parents Gus and Berniece Tebbe; husband Arvil Baker; children Antoinette Baker, Kathleen Castle, Thomas Baker; son-in-law William Preston; sister Julie Plake; brother-in-law Jay (Smiley) Matthews; sister-in-law Yonda Tebbe; great niece Stephanie Smereka; and great nephew Zachary Bond.
A funeral mass celebrating Virginia’s life will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 11:30 AM at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, located at 340 Mill Street in Tipton, Indiana, with Father Goth officiating. Burial will take place immediately following the service at St. John’s Cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be held on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, from 2-8 PM, with a rosary service starting at 7:30 PM, at Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home, located at 314 N. Main Street in Tipton. Visitation will also be held on May 31, 2023, from 10-11 AM, with a eulogy starting at 10:30 AM, at Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home, before proceeding to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home is honored to serve Virginia’s family in their time of need. Please feel free to leave an online condolence or share a special memory of Virginia with her family on her tribute wall.
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