Mary Beal Baker 1931 - 2021

Mary Louise Beal was born through a home delivery on October 9, 1931, to parents Christina and John Beal of Dayton, Oregon, where she would grow up and live her entire life. Mary was educated in Dayton schools through her high school graduation. Known as “Little Miss Mary Sunshine,” she was known for always wearing a flower in her hair and getting her classmates in trouble with her Lucille Ball faces she made.

After high school, she was hired as a teller at the Dayton branch of U.S. Bank, where she continued to work for over 40 years and serve faithfully in the community. She became a “pool shark” and a vital component of “The Mavericks,” a local fiddle group with whom she enjoyed visiting retirement homes. Mary was crowned Queen, an incredible honor as a Dayton Senior in 2017, with a highlight of riding in the parade with the King on his motorcycle.

Mary married Howard “Bud” Baker on November 8, 1952, while Bud was on leave from his duty in the U.S. Army, serving in Okinawa. The couple celebrated 56 years of marriage. Together they had four children, Renee’ Braun of Salem, Jeff (Cindy) Baker of Keno, Greg (Denise) Baker of Happy Valley and Tammy Baker-Shirley (Randy) Shirley of McMinnville, Oregon.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Bud; her brothers, Harlie and George Beal; and grandson, Steven Beaumont. She is survived by her children; 12 grandchildren; and 16 (two more on the way) great-grandchildren. Mary was a friend to all and a stranger to none. She passed peacefully September 1, 2021, with her family by her side.

A celebration of life for Mary Beal Baker of Dayton will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 9, which would have been her 90th birthday, at Palmer Creek Lodge, 606 Fourth Street, Dayton, OR 97114. To leave condolences, visit


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