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Linda May Baker-Baza, 56 of Clayton, CA died March 27, 2009 at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. Ms. Baker-Baza was born on July 15, 1952 in Casper, WY to, Leonard and June Worthey. She was adopted by Charles and Gertrude Smith as an infant.
Ms. Baker-Baza grew up as a child in Bentonville AR. where her parents owned a soda and candy shop. She frequently went there with her friends after school or a movie. As a teenager she moved with her parents to Quincy, IL. She attended Quincy Senior High class of 1970. She married her high school sweetheart Gary Goertz in 1970. She married Ronald Baker of Novelty, MO in 1975. Together they owned the Novelty Cafe in Novelty, MO, and Novelty Fur & Hide in Novelty, MO, Barber & Gun Shop in Edina, MO, and Baker’s Clothing stores in Edina, MO, LaPlata, MO, Lewistown, MO and also ran Sear’s catalog and printing shop through the clothing store in Edina. She was the main cook at the restaurant. She also worked 2 of the 3 clothing stores. She also maintained the bookkeeping for the clothing stores, as well as Novelty Fur & Hide and the Barber & Gun shop. She was a very hard worker and never knew a stranger. She loved the outdoors and sports. She kept score for her children and husband’s softball and baseball teams. She was very active in the community and developed many long life friends. She found her biological siblings at the age of 35. They had remained close ever since.
She is survived by her beloved children, daughters Melissa Rice and husband Clayton Rice of Edina, MO, Nicole Goertz of Santa Clara, CA and Lucy Baker of McKinleyville, CA, son Shawn Goertz of Columbia, MO; her loving grandchildren Annie, Joseph, and William Rice of Edina, MO, Carlie Pulido of Santa Clara, CA and Jonah and Autumn Spoolman of McKinleyville, CA.; brothers, Ronald Worthey of Surprise, AZ, Leonard Worthey of Green Cove Springs, Florida and a sister Carol Valbracht of Cabot, Arkansas; her companion, Joseph Miguel and their dog Scooter. She was preceded in death by her biological and adoptive parents.
She moved to California in 1990 where she met her soul mate Joseph Miguel. She worked along side her brother Ronald Worthey until early retirement. She also started her own band “Crossroads”. She had a great love and passion for music since the age of 2. She performed at many local venues and festivals. She was a proud supporter for Toys for Tots. She has received many Certificates of Appreciation, presented to her by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Her love of life, strength, courage, compassion for people, friendship, heroics and her soulful and powerful voice will forever live in our hearts.
“Celebration of Life” will be held on May 23, 2009 at 1pm at the Campbell Moose Lodge, 1580 Hamilton Ave San Jose, CA 95125 (408) 264-1580.
Memorial donation can be made in her honor to the Lupus Foundation of America, a donation box will be available at the “Celebration of Life” or a donation can be mailed to Lupus Foundation of America, Inc., P.O. Box 631047, Baltimore, MD 21263-1047 or online at