Born Sept. 9, 1931, at Berne, IN, she was a daughter of the late Werner and Ilma Franz Geiser. Phyllis moved with her family at a young age to Dover where she grew up and graduated from Dover High School. She attended Bluffton College, and graduated from the Massillon City Hospital School of Nursing. As a young registered nurse, Phyllis was employed by Cincinnati General Hospital, and later by the Tuscarawas Co. Health Dept., and the late Dr. Crawley of Dover.
She was a member of St. John's United Church of Christ at Dover, and sang in the church choir. Phyllis also attended the First United Methodist Church in New Philadelphia where she taught Sunday school. She had a life-long love of music, playing the cello, piano and organ, and was a member of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of the late Gilbert Roehm. She was very active in the National and Ohio Federations of Music Clubs, as well as the Fortnightly Music Club, and held various offices in all three organizations.
In her later years, Phyllis especially enjoyed visiting with family and friends, listening to classical music on WKSU, and watching old movies – Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz being favorites, as well as anything with her favorite baritone Nelson Eddy.
Phyllis is survived by her step-children, Suzanne Baker of FL, Judith Baker of New Philadelphia, Cynthia Zamerowski of Chicago, IL, James (Alisa) Baker of Dover, Stephen (Julie) Baker of Dundee; step-daughter-in-law, Jean Baker of KS; many step-grandchildren; a sister, Cheryl (Tom) Marshall of Dover; a niece, Lee Ann (Dale) Miller of Strasburg; great-niece, Ellie Amanda Miller; and great-nephew, Mark Miller of New Philadelphia.
In addition to her parents, Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband of sixteen years, James H. Baker, in 1986; a step-son, David Baker; and a nephew, Jon Marshall.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m. in St. John's United Church of Christ, with Pastor D. Gene Kraus officiating. Burial will be in Ridgecrest Memory Gardens, Dover. Following the committal, there will be a luncheon in St. John's Social Hall. Family and friends are invited to call at the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, Dover, on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 4 – 7 p.m., and on Wednesday, 10 – 11 a.m. in St. John's. To sign an online guestbook and share a fond memory of Phyllis, please visit the Obituaries and Flowers link on the funeral home's website.
The family suggests that contributions in Phyllis' memory be made to the Stained Glass Window Fund of St. John's U.C.C., 409 N. Wooster Ave., Dover, OH 44622.
Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory