WATERTOWN, NY — Camie E. Baker, lifelong resident of Watertown, educator, and public servant, passed away suddenly at home on June 1, 2022, at the age of 82.
Born Jan. 14, 1940, Camie was the daughter of Alfred E. and Dorothy J. Everett of Watertown.
Camie earned her diploma from Watertown High School in 1957, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1961 from Albany State Teachers College, now known as SUNY Albany.
As a sophomore at Albany in 1958, Camie was an orientation leader, greeting new students. One of the incoming freshmen she greeted was James Baker, who noticed Camie during a bus ride to an orientation picnic. Several semesters later, after seeing each other around Albany’s campus, Camie and Jim began dating. The couple married in August 1962, and was inseparable for the next 60 years.
After graduation, Camie began her teaching career at Coxsackie-Athens Central High School. She also served as a senior class advisor for the Class of 1962. Jim followed her there, and together, they were C-A’s entire Math Department at the high school level. She taught her favorite form of math – Geometry – and a few other classes, while Jim picked up the rest.
In August of 1964, the couple settled back in Watertown. Camie taught math at North Junior High School, while Jim taught math and physics at General Brown High School. The couple welcomed their first child, Nancy, in March of 1965. Their son Alan followed in February of 1968. Camie temporarily left the workforce to care for her children in their early years.
While a stay-at-home mom, Camie found time to volunteer for the PTA, and the United Methodist Women at Asbury United Methodist Church in Watertown. She was also a Board Member, Neighborhood Chair, Troop Leader, and Cookie Sale Chair for the Thousand Islands Girl Scout Council, Inc. One of her greatest memories was leading a group of girls from the Thousand Islands Council on a tour of Europe, culminating in a visit to Our Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland. Run by the World Foundation for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Our Chalet is a global center for young women’s and girls’ leadership programs. It was Camie’s pleasure to share that experience with the girls, and inspire a generation of strong female leaders.
Camie’s lifetime mission of education and learning motivated her to a career of public service in her hometown of Watertown. She was elected as a member of the Board of Education for Watertown City School District for two terms. Her ten years on the board included time as a member and president. Her own children attended Watertown schools, but she cared deeply for every student in the district, and helped guide education policy that benefitted all.
Members of Watertown’s board later elected Camie to the Board of Education for the Jeff-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). BOCES offers career and technical education, adult education, and continuing education throughout the region. Camie shared her time, talent, and leadership skills with the board for 18 years, including 4 years as president, and 3 years as vice president.
When she decided to re-enter the workforce in the late 1980s, Camie always had the will and a way to bring people together. She was the first Director of the Jeff-Lewis Mediation Center, Inc. The center used trained volunteer mediators and staff to give people an alternative way to resolve common disputes without going to court. Even though Camie retired in 2000, her legacy lives on today. The Resolution Center of Jefferson & Lewis Counties, Inc., still operates, carrying on the mission of alternative dispute resolution.
Camie was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred E. and Dorothy J. Everett; her older brother, Alfred J. Everett; her daughter, Nancy E. Baker; and other beloved family members.
Left to honor her amazing legacy as a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, volunteer, and public servant is her beloved husband, Jim; her son, Alan (Karen) Baker; her grandchildren, Preston, Kendall, and Grady Baker; and numerous other beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews. While we miss Camie terribly, her life and memory will live on in our hearts, our minds, and our service.
The family will receive visitors on June 16, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, 632 State St, Watertown, New York. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 2:00 p.m. in the Reed & Benoit chapel. A private interment with the family will follow at Dexter Cemetery.
The entire Baker family would like to publicly thank the dedicated people of Guilfoyle Ambulance Services, Watertown Fire Department, Watertown Police Department, and Reed & Benoit Funeral Home for their valiant efforts and dignified service in our time of urgent need.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to the American Diabetes Association for the purposes of research at www.diabetes.org/donate, Asbury United Methodist Church at www.asburyumc.net/online-giving/, or the charity of your choice that’s befitting of Camie’s love of education and legacy of service.
Online condolences may be made at www.reedbenoit.com