Official Obituary of

Rosalie Isabel (Davis) Baker-Brown

January 4, 1929 ~ March 4, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old

Rosalie Baker-Brown Obituary

Rosalie Isabel Davis was born in 1929 in the little village of Woodville, Massachusetts to a family of modest means. She had nine siblings. In the shady woods above a gurgling trout stream, the Davis kids stuck together and learned the lessons of hard work, faith and families and honoring the Golden Rule. Along with the chores and the chickens – one of which created Rosalie’s lifelong nickname “Diddy” with the peculiar sounds it made – that little white house was filled with laughter and song.

In the nearby town of Hopkinton, about a quarter mile from the starting line of the Boston Marathon, Rosalie, tall and beautiful, was a genuine student-athlete at Hopkinton High. She led the women’s basketball team to an undefeated season, earned the prestigious Bausch Lomb Award in Science and was inducted into Hopkinton High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

It was at the high school that Rosalie met and married Henry “Red” Baker, a teacher and former three-sport athlete himself at Holy Cross College. They had five children and raised them in Southboro, Massachusetts where the neighborhood, the resevoirs and things like Memorial Day parades and sleigh rides in the fall created indelible memories.

Rosalie was involved in everything. Having earned a degree in business administration, she ran a large dental practice. She belonged to the Catholic Women’s Club and was a member of the Southboro Housing Authority. Her early love of basketball stuck. She refereed women’s college basketball for 25 years and was chairman of the Massachusetts Association of Referees for 20! To help support her kids even after the premature death of her husband, she sacrificed all winter long, running up and down the hardwood courts in her striped shirt, whistle in hand and ponytail flying out behind. Years later, that lifelong fitness would save her life during her recovery from open heart surgery.

In Framingham, Southboro and especially “over the river and through the woods” to gram’s house in Woodville, Rosalie made sure Thanksgivings were unforgettable with the smell of baking bread, the jostling of Great Danes and the Davis sisters’ voices blending beautifully into their favorite songs.

Out on Peaks Island, for more than 60 years, especially in the last of the three great cottages, “Almost Home”, Rosalie polished the childhoods of her children and grandchildren. With her amazing second husband, Tom Brown, she welcomed her extended family, neighbors, friends and strangers too, to sit out on the big deck, to eat, drink and be merry together for the sheer fun of it all and the memories that would last a lifetime.

Peaks Island will remember Rosalie Baker – Brown on the “front shore” or reading down on Baker’s Beach or Raven’s Cove. She loved the 4th of July, her private fireworks and the circle-the-island parade. She loved waving the stars and stripes and singing “She’s a Grand Old Flag” at the top of her lungs. In the summer, along the shore, she was something of a land mark like the great “Whaleback Rock”. They both seemed indestructible then.

Through some of her happiest years with our beloved, stepdad, Tom Brown, whose family was so influential in Boston sports, Rosalie built a great relationship with the BAA and the Boston Marathon. She became the first woman to fire the starter’s pistol and she waved from the podium as lucky family members made their way to Boston. She was always really proud of events in Hopkinton as her life came full circle.

Rosalie Baker-Brown passed away as she had hoped, at home, beautifully taken care of in the last decade of her life, just as she had done for her mother, by her daughter Elizabeth and her beloved husband Dale. The family had a chance to say goodbye. Rosalie may have been dreaming of Virgin Gorda or Bagni de Luca. Maybe she was singing “Amazing Grace” or “Wild Irish Rose” quietly to herself. We’ll never know; but, before she slipped away she made it clear that she felt humble and unafraid, grateful for a long, happy life, surrounded by people who loved her so. And now, she has drifted off into Longfellow’s “infinite meadows of heaven” and “…the lovely stars, the Forget-Me-Nots of the Angels.” Mom, we’ll love you forever and carry your influence in our hearts.

Rosalie Baker-Brown is survived by her five children: Dick, Bob and Bill Baker. Teri Conley, Elizabeth Hicks and their spouses as well as nine grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends from coast to coast. She will be buried in a small, private ceremony. A gathering to celebrate her remarkable long life will be announced at a later date.

The family would like to thank the Northern Light VNA Hospice Team for their thoughtful care and compassion.

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