Featured Resident – Joyce Baker
Joyce was born in Kansas City, KS, the third of five children born to Albert and Viola Greve. She had a sister three years older than her, a brother two years older, a sister ten years younger and a brother fifteen years younger. When she was three, the family moved to Pender, NE. Her parents rented a farm. Joyce loved living on the farm. She was a tomboy and loved helping her dad out with chores and field work. However, she hated housework and was known to hide in a haystack to get out of doing the dreaded housework when her mom would call for her. She admits to being a bit of a troublemaker. She always figured she was going to get into trouble for something.
Growing up, she loved riding the family horse, Trigger, bareback. One time she was thrown and was too short to get back on him. She climbed a barb wire fence to get back on but her father saw her and wasn’t happy to say the least.
Joyce attended a one room schoolhouse until going to high school in Pender. She was a majorette with the marching band. In November of her junior year, the family moved back to Kansas City, KS, and she attended Washington High School, a huge change for her. She was able to be a majorette at Washington High as well but with the stipulation that she played an instrument. She didn’t but the band director “set her up” with a baritone sax and told her if the principal came in to blow. The highlight of her school years was getting to march in the American Royal Parade. She graduated in 1962.
Joyce went to work for an insurance agency as a typist. Her brother, George, was in Basic Training at Ft. Leonardwood. He brought home one of his buddies in 1963. Joyce and he started dating and married in 1965.
The couple settled in Gladstone, MO. In 1966, they welcomed their son, Raymond into the family and Joyce quit her job and became a stay at home mom. Shelley was born in 1971 and Ryan in 1973.
Joyce kept very active with her kids. For a few summers, she had Raymond in baseball, Shelley in softball and Ryan in t-ball. She was a room mother for each of her kids. She was a den mother for Cub Scouts.
Joyce got a divorce in 1989. She went to work as a Mary Kay consultant. She eventually starting selling Pampered Chef instead and really loved it.
In1993, Shelley gave birth to her son, Dylan. Joyce was present at the birth and it’s one of her most favorite memories.
One day Joyce was at the truck stop in Kearney having coffee when an old acquaintance came in. Carl Baker joined her for coffee and they started seeing each other. They married in 1994.
The couple bought a house in Grayson, MO. Carl worked for Burlington Northern. The couple loved to tent camp. They would get electrical sites so they could have their fan. Eventually the ground became too hard and they bought a Class C motor home. They traveled a lot more once Carl retired. They would camp with his brother and extended family. They went to South Dakota, Arizona, Colorado and spent a lot of time in the Ozarks,
Carl was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Joyce quit selling Pampered Chef and took care of him. He passed away in 2009.
Joyce stayed in Grayson. She had never lived alone in her life and it was quite the adjustment. She starting selling Pampered Chef again and going to the American Legion. After a couple of years, she retired and started going to the Town Tavern in Smithville. She made a lot of friends and enjoyed socializing.
Joyce’s breathing became an issue and kept her from being able to take care of her house and yard. She and Shelley started looking for some place for her to live. They came to Westbrook and Joyce immediately fell in love with the homey feeling. She moved to Westbrook in April 2021. She loves the staff, which is helpful and friendly. She really enjoys the ladies at her table. They make mealtime enjoyable. And she loves her apartment. According to her, it’s not too big or too small. It is absolutely perfect for her.
Joyce is an avid colorer. She has enjoyed coloring since the 1990s. She enjoys playing slots on her phone and Kindle and going to Bingo. She also loves watching movies from the 1950s to today. She stays connected with family and friends via phone calls and visits.
Besides her three children, she has a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, five grandchildren and one great grandson. Her advice to them and others is to “Take one day at a time and Keep the faith.”