Ethel J. Baker, of Lewiston, NY, passed away on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence, Lewiston, NY.
She was born on the Six Nation Reservation in Brantford, Ontario, on November 30, 1925, the daughter of the late Grant and Flora (Garlow) Porter.
Ethel was educated in Brantford and graduated from the Ontario Mechanist School and the Kelly Business Institute.
After moving to Lewiston she began working at Harrison Radiator in Lockport. She was among a group of Harrison employees who traveled to France to use her considerable management skills to teach French engineers how to build and manufacture Volvo and Fiat air conditioners. "That was the most interesting project in my career," she said. She was the manufacturing supervisor for Department 828, where employees check and balance fans for all of Harrison air conditioners.
"Despite the language barriers, she was very successful and well accepted by the French employees", Robert Bragg, a Harrison general supervisor of manufacturing, said.
Mrs. Baker helped build early experimental pilots and several models of ACU air conditioners, development which helped Harrison increase its air conditioner production from 500 to 22,000 units each day. She was also one of the first female supervisors in Building 8 and 9 at the Harrison West Plant and one of the original ACU instructors.
She was a member of the G9 Supervisors Club, helped prepare the financial section of the Quill newsletter, and was a member of the Women's Aglow Association and Chapter 17, Loyal Order of Moose. Mrs. Baker had also been a United Way solicitor for several years at Harrison before retiring in 1988.
She is survived by her three sons, Richard (Linda) Baker, Randy Baker and Gerald Porter; one daughter, Barbara (Gary) Powell; six grandchildren, Tara, Melinda, Karl, Grant, Jason and Richie, and loved by all of her great-grandchildren; one brother, Arnold Porter; two sisters, Gloria Wolf and Julia Porter. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Mrs. Baker was the mother of the late Robin G. Baker; sister of the late Delores VanEvery, Howard and Robert Porter.
The family will be present on Friday from 2-9 PM at the RHONEY FUNERA HOME, 5893 Hoover Road, SANBORN, NY, where funeral services will be held on Saturday at 1:00 PM, with the Rev. Walter A. Printup officiating. Memorials may be made in her name to Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence. Interment in Memorial Park Cemetery, Lewiston, NY.
Visit www.rhoneyfuneralhome.com for guest register.