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Ruth Hays Baker, active with Grand Island schools; June 29, 1917 -- Aug. 3, 2011

Ruth Hays Baker, a Grand Island woman who was long active in the Grand Island schools, died Aug. 3 at her home. She was 94.

Born in Niagara Falls, the former Ruth Hays graduated from Niagara Falls High School and was a member of the Mercyhurst College Class of 1939. She later attended graduate school at the University of Toronto.

Devoted to social work and public education, Mrs. Baker was a Grand Island School Board member from 1960 to 1970 and served two terms as School Board president. She remained active in the district afterward, heading its annual budget and board elections.

Mrs. Baker also served as the executive director of the Niagara Falls YWCA from 1970 to 1983, where she initiated day care and women's health programs.

Mrs. Baker's husband of 60 years, Lyman Merritt Baker, died last September.

She is survived by four sons, Merritt, Charles, Malcolm and Paul, and a sister, Polly Nieburg.