Dorothy Russell Baker, known as Dottie, died September 2, 2021 (age 91) at the Country House in Wilmington, DE. Dottie was born in November 1929 in Boston, MA to her late parents, Frank Havens Russell Jr. and Hazel Ames Russell, and raised in Needham, MA with her late brother, Lindsey Russell. After graduating from Needham High School (class of 1947), Dottie attended Endicott College (class of 1949). Dottie married the late Marshall Baker and they enjoyed 69 years of marriage. They lived in Niagara Falls and Lewiston, NY, made Wilmington, DE their permanent home, while also enjoying a vacation house in Osterville, MA.
Dottie enjoyed painting scenes of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Niagara Falls. Her other hobbies included golf, collecting antiques, and bridge. She connected with the local Wilmington figure skating community when she took her young son for lessons, rekindling her childhood love of the sport. A founding member of the Skating Club of Wilmington, she produced several ice shows to raise funds for the rink, and served as a figure-skating judge.
Dottie’s fundraising success in figure skating earned her an invitation to serve on the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the first female state fundraising “chairman.” She chaired the Delaware State USOC for 21 years, with Delaware often recognized as raising the most funds per capita under her leadership. No matter what the endeavor, Dottie’s strength was her ability to connect with people. She continued producing ice show fundraisers, including the televised “Ice Stars 80” in 1980 and “Olympic Preview on Ice” in 1984. Dottie also served on the USOC Executive Board, Public Relations/Public Information Committee, the Committee on Sports for the Disabled, the National Finance Committee, the USOC State Council, the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee’s Torch Relay Committee, and the Delaware State Olympic Fine Arts Committee.
In addition to her involvement with the USOC, Dottie served as President of Chapter F of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, as a member of the University of Delaware Athletics Visiting Committee, the National Luge Committee, the National Art Museum of Sports Board of Trustees, the Advisory Board for the Association for the Advancement of Sports Potential, and the Governor’s Council on Lifestyle and Fitness. Dottie has been recognized for all of her volunteering efforts. The U.S. Figure Skating Association granted her the position of Judge Emeritus for Ice Dance in 1989. Endicott College honored her with the Outstanding Alumna Award in 1991 and inducted her into their Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994. The Delaware Sports Hall of Fame inducted Dottie in 1996.
Dottie is survived by two sons, Clark Baker (Miriam) and Edward Baker (Karin); six grandchildren, Eva Baker (Franz Placke), Stephen Baker (Sara), Hazel Baker (Daniel Rubinton), Allison Urban (Edward), Louis Baker, and Cassandra Baker; two great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Stewart.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Country House and ACTS Hospice. They are especially grateful to Margaret Jenkins for the loving care she showed Mrs. Baker over the past seven years, particularly across recent months.