Beauty Fashion 05

Karen Ann Baker

May 3, 1943 ~ May 23, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old


Karen Ann Baker died Tuesday, May 23 at Dujarie House, Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame, Indiana, following complications from cancer. She was 80 years old. 

Born on May 3, 1943 to John and Suzanne Quigley, she was an only child until age nine, when she was joined by her sister, Margaret Mary. A talented artist, Baker attended Aquinas High School where she flourished in the arts. She went on to study at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Institute of Art, later making a career in interior design and decorating, contributing to the production of buildings such as the Kellogg Institute of Economics at Northwestern University. 

She lived and worked in Chicago until the late 1980s. Baker then moved to Rockford, Illinois, where she served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the area. She was impassioned by service to others and loved taking her friends shopping and offering fashion advice.

After overcoming ovarian cancer, Baker retired to South Bend to be closer to her family. She volunteered at Saint Margaret’s House, where she found a welcoming community that, true to her own spirit, valued hospitality, compassion, laughter, and a good story.

A Beatnik, Baker had a lifelong penchant for black clothing, black accessories, black coffee, and things that could be painted black if they weren’t already black.

She enjoyed cigarettes and large silver statement jewelry. She adopted and sheltered a string of stray dogs with names such as “Pippin,” “What,” and “Domino,” all of whom she adored. She loved jazz music, Count Basie and Charlie Parker in particular. Baker was a coquette who enjoyed flirting with older men, a habit that she cultivated well into her later years.

Karen is survived by her sister, Margaret Garvey; her nephews; Michael Francis (Carmen) Garvey, and Joseph Benedict (Shannon) Garvey, and niece, Monica Therese Garvey, all of whom are thankful to be residing in their hometown to surround her in her final days. She will be missed greatly by her grandnephews, Patrick James and Hugh Michael, and niece Cecilia Jane Garvey. 

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Donations may be made in her memory to Saint Margaret's House, 117 N. Lafayette Blvd., South Bend, IN 46601.

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