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March 19, 1915 – May 16, 2013

Hattie Elizabeth Merriweather Baker, a church leader, died Thursday in ElderWood Nursing Home after a short illness. She was 98.

Born Hattie Merriweather in Alabama, she moved to Lackawanna in 1937.

In 1944, the family moved to Buffalo, where they joined Macedonia Baptist Church.

Mrs. Baker was a choir member at the church and served as president of the senior choir. She also taught the Young Adult Mission and was president of the Missionary Society.

She led the missionaries in visiting the sick in their homes and at hospitals, and the group took Christmas baskets to the Erie County Home.

Mrs. Baker also taught Children Evangelism for four years at the church and was the first person to teach the Flannel Board sessions, craft-making and reed baskets.

For 14 years, she taught Children Evangelism and Release Time Classes – an after-school program – in her Buffalo home.

She was a Grey Lady at Deaconess Hospital and attended Bible study at the Buffalo Youth Time Center.

As a member of the Deacon’s Alliance of Western New York, for 10 years she took 30 to 40 children camping.

Mrs. Baker moved to a 27-acre farm in Irving after her husband retired from Bethlehem Steel. There, she continued to be active in her community, organizing the senior citizens and serving as the organization’s president.

She was a family care program provider for Gowanda State Hospital for 20 years.

Her husband of nearly 48 years, Henry Levi Baker Sr., died in 1978.

Surviving are five sons, Oscar, Ivor, DeWayne, Garry and Ralph; and two daughters Gertrude Thedford and Joni Mae Vinson.

A service will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Macedonia Baptist Church, 237 E. North St.