Ellen Demarest Baber

Obituary of Ellen Fenwick Demarest Baber

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Baber, Ellen Fenwick Demarest, affectionately known by many as "Bumblebee," died at home September 19, 2022, at the age of 88. She is survived by three sons and two daughters: Frank Howard Baber III (Katherine Sowards), Charles Fenwick Baber (Debra Shelton), David Anderson Baber, (Sylvia Banton), Laura Conway Baber (John Esbenshade), and Jennifer Rogers Walker (Christopher); 15 grandchildren, Frank Baber IV, (Tana), Emilee Harker (Nathan), Patrick Baber (Kristin), Elizabeth Harker (Jared), Charles Baber, Tyler Baber, Christopher Baber (Hazel), David Baber (Elisa), Ashleigh Gardner (Christopher), Meredith Hirschauer (Jonathan), Talor Hogan, John Esbenshade, Jr., Sam Esbenshade (Liz), Margaretta Walker, Laura Claire Walker; 24 great-grandchildren; Frank Baber V, Tapanga Baber, Jackson Harker, Luke Harker, Joanna Baber, Isaiah Harker, Cana Harker, Kerith Harker, Meriwyn Baber, Marlon Baber, Theodore Baber, Chance Baber, Juliet Baber, Eloise Baber, Andrew Baber, Leo Baber, Ryleigh Gardner, Cameron Gardner, Oliver Hirschauer, River Esbenshade, Lyla Esbenshade, Mason Hogan, and Eleanor Bondley. She is also survived by 2 sisters-in-law, Maria Baber and Nancy Demarest and many close family members and friends. Ellen also enjoyed many beloved "part-time" children through weekends and summers with the Virginia Home for Children, as well as many others who look to her as a chosen-family mother. Ellen was predeceased in death by her husband Frank Howard Baber, Jr., an infant son; parents Ellen Fenwick and John Linton Demarest; grandparents Claire Louise and Edward Taylor Fenwick; Margretta Linton Agnew and Henry Everett Demarest. Ellen grew up in Arlington, Virginia, surrounded by grandparents, many aunts, uncles, and cousins. In 1952, she married Frank, and his work took them to Saluda and Warsaw, Virginia before coming to the family farm near Cartersville, Virginia. Here she bravely took on the role of raising a family, running a household, supporting farm needs, and being a vital part of the local community and church, volunteering as Storybook Lady, with the Gingerbread House, the Farmers Market, United Methodist Youth and Women, Church Women United and in other service areas. In 1980, she, Frank and Jennifer moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she again shared her creative talents. She gave many hours to Contact Help Line, Stephen Ministry, Lancaster Domestic Violence Services, Highland Presbyterian Church, Heifer International and other organizations. While keeping an open, hospitable home for family, students, friends, and strangers, she found time to have a catering business and was famous for her beautiful dishes and wedding cakes. She and Frank loved travel and enjoyed trips, often with grandchildren, across the US and Canada, to Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. One of her favorite projects was Heifer International and she loved volunteering at the Heifer Ranch in Arkansas and giving Heifer presentations. In 2003, Ellen and Frank returned to the Cartersville area, and she continued to be a blessing to the community and to Oakwood United Methodist Church with her work in Prayer Group and the Coalition of Churches. Her caring, compassionate spirit brought us together. At 88, she was a social media expert, connecting distant family and friends. She understood the joy of rising above divisiveness to the unity we have in common. Ellen's own words say it best, "It is vital to keep in touch with one another, show up for things, be inclusive, fair, share the details of our lives together, and to find some common denominator where everyone can be comfortable together." One young cousin's tribute to her sums it up, "She was always the gladdest to see us." Ellen leaves us a legacy of hospitality and compassion. She will be greatly missed. Visitation will be Friday, September 23, 2022 from 3-7 p.m. at Oakwood United Methodist Church, 1291 Columbia Road, Columbia, VA 23038. An in-person funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2022 1 p.m. at Oakwood United Methodist Church, 1291 Columbia Road, Columbia, VA 23038. The service will also be available live on zoom via https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87650559854?pwd=bEltNjZFZ2RFUjRWamgzdit0cFF5QT09 Meeting ID: 876 5055 9854 Passcode: 676293 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Oakwood United Methodist Church, 1291 Columbia Road, Columbia, VA 23038 (digital donation available soon) or Heifer International, https://www.heifer.org/ Flowers may be ordered locally by contacting MHenry Design by email at flowers@mhenrydesign.com and by phone on (804) 382-6421.
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Visitation at Main Service

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, September 23, 2022
Oakwood United Methodist Church
1291 Columbia Road
Columbia, Virginia, United States

Funeral Service

1:00 pm
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Oakwood United Methodist Church
1291 Columbia Road
Columbia, Virginia, United States

Final Resting Place

Oakwood United Methodist Church Cemetery
1291 Columbia Road
Columbia, Virginia, United States
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