Nelma Ree was born on July 6, 1933 to Lonnie and Odell Watts, in Haynesville, Louisiana. Nelma was one of nine children born to this union. She was the eldest daughter. She was schooled in the Haynesville education system.
Nelma met and married Joseph Baker. Out of this union were born four children. They moved to Kansas City, MO in the 1960s. Here she began working at the Kansas City Art Statuary Company where retired in 2000 after over 30 years of service.
Shortly after moving to Kansas City, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior under the leadership of the late Rev. Hubert Lambert at Faith Mission Church where remained a loyal and faithful member until her death. She was also blessed to be shepherded by the late Rev. Willie Graham and by Pastor Cheikeitha Diamond. She prided herself in her attention to details, whether in her sculpturing at work, lovingly prepared family meals or simply wrapping gifts. For many years she serves as on the Usher Board, and later served as President with dignity and honor while developing life-long friendships.
Her church family could always count on her for cakes, pies and her wickedly sly sense of humor to lighten any mood. She loved to laugh and delighted in saying outrageous things just to get you to laugh. She was happiest surrounded by her friends and family. She never went to culinary school, but no one could cook or bake better than her. She totally enjoyed watching us devour her feasts. She was renowned for her sweet potato pies, cornbread dressing and 7up cakes. She would gladly cook something special for anyone who asked. She was always on the Watts Family Reunion committee. This was the family’s way of ensuring she would cook.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lonnie and Odell Watts, five brothers Claimon Watts, Leonard Watts, Lonnie Watts, Jr., Ocie Watts and Eddie J. Watts, one sister Marylean Green, and one son Willie Baker.
She leaves to cherish her memory: one son, Bobby Baker, two daughters Joyce Baker- Jones and Dorothy Baker, all of Kansas City, Mo, one sister Zelma (Joe) Berry of Kansas City, MO, one brother Freddie J. Watts of Haynesville, LA, three grandchildren Alvin T. Baker and Brandon Baker of Kansas City, MO and Barbara Sansberry (Kevin II) of Cincinnati, OH, two great grandchildren Kevin III and Kadin Sansberry and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, October 30, 2021, 12 noon at Faith Mission Church, visitation 11 am. Interment Forest Hill Cemetery. Service conducted by Watkins Heritage Chapel. Condolences may be shared on our website.
To send flowers to Ms. Nelma Baker's family, please visit our floral store.