Philip M. Baker

FALMOUTH – Philip M. Baker of Falmouth died July 28, 2020, having been predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Virginia Chappell Baker and being survived by his companion of six years, Peggy Wescott. He was 92.

He was born in Boston on Feb. 21, 1928 and grew up with his mother and twin sisters, Barbara and Lucy, in Sherborn, Mass. He spent summers with his sisters and many cousins on his grandparents’ farm in North Hampton, N.H. Memories of these summers became the stuff of tales made tall at family reunions called “Gaggy Bashes.” Phil graduated in 1952 from Amherst College majoring in history.

An avid reader, Phil’s passion for history included Civil War accounts and rollicking sea adventures by Patrick O’Brien among others. Old-time country music was his favorite: Chet Atkins, Flatt and Scruggs, Willie’s Roadhouse. The home in Falmouth that he and Ginny bought in 1957 went through many restorations and stands as a handsome testament to his stewardship of property.

As a land-owner he maintained and beautified his pond, his gardens, his Tree Farm, the paths through the woods. And he loved that tractor. With it, the PTO and the splitter he must have split hundreds of cords of wood.

In his home he built a woodworking shop, turning out furniture, a Victorian doll-house, an authentic nut-shell pram and intricate ship models. He loved the sea, sailboats, the almost nightly cook-outs on “our” tide-challenged island when the family was young. He knew Casco Bay and its history well. He made Monhegan Island a sanctuary, loving Burnt Head, Wreck Cove, the lobstermen, the Cathedral Woods. As a seasoned traveler he most enjoyed Ireland and anything Irish: his setters, Limmer, Faith and Belle, the people of the Emerald Isle and Irish whiskey.

Dave and Hattie Lusty of York Harbor were wonderful old friends. With the couple and their boys, Phil and Ginny and family enjoyed years of Thanksgiving holiday traditions. Phil’s friendships from his Sherborn childhood survived to his day of passing. He cherished twice-yearly gatherings with them. His work in the paper industry seemed to be a higher calling. He loved his friends and their families from all walks of life at the S. D. Warren/ SAPPI paper mill in Westbrook and at Englehard. A colleague said, “Phil was one of those great people that you are lucky enough to work with during your career.” He was a great supporter of the industry and an ardent booster of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation. Known for his sense of humor and gift of story-telling, foundation meetings couldn’t start until the crowd around Phil Baker dispersed. He was also an active community member, serving as a volunteer firefighter, school board member, and hospital board chair.

He is survived by his three children and six grandchildren, Philip C. Baker (Cynthia), Gwen and Celine of Windham; Barbara “Gilly” Hitchcock (Joe), Dan (Sarai) and Ben (Elise) of Kingfield, Sedgwick and Hallowell; and Linda Gifford (Donn), Jen (Dan) Green and Amy of Brooksville, Chelmsford, Mass. and Richmond, Va. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara “Tot” Campbell of New Hampshire.

A private burial will be at the family plot in North Hampton, N.H. There will be a gathering to celebrate his life at a future time.

To know him was a gift. And his stories, the conversations, hearing his laughter are treasures to carry. So, lift a glass of Irish and toast a life well-lived.

To Phil.

Arrangements are under the care of Funeral Alternatives, 46 Bath Rd. Brunswick. Condolences may be shared at http://www.funeralalternatives.net.

Phil’s love of animals may be acknowledged with a gift to the

Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland

P.O. Box 336

Westbrook, ME 04098

or the

Franklin County Animal Shelter

550 Industrial Rd.

Farmington, ME 04938

Or continue his work by giving to the

University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation

5737 Jeness Hall

Orono, ME 04469

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