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About Us

Anne M. Baker Charities, Inc. is an Illinois not for profit corporation established in 2021 following the death of Anne M. Baker on September 27, 2020, and funded from her estate.  Anne M. Baker was a proud resident of Peru, Illinois, and wife to Donald L. Baker, whom served as a City of Peru Alderman from 1957-1961 and Mayor from 1965-2009. Together, Anne and Donald Baker demonstrated a lifetime of dedication and generosity toward improving the City of Peru and greater Illinois Valley Area.

The purpose of Anne M. Baker Charities, Inc. is to continue Anne and Donald Baker's legacy by making contributions to Charitable Organizations located or operating in LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam Counties.

Anne Marie Baker
(1921 - 2020)


Anne Marie (Ramirez) Baker, of Peru, IL, wife of the late Mayor of Peru, Donald Baker, passed away Sunday, September 27, 2020 at her home, at the age of 99, with family and friends at her side. Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Friday, October 2, 2020 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Peru with Rev. Tom Redig, pastor officiating. Burial will follow in Peru City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10:00 am until the time of service Friday at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Mueller Funeral Home in Peru. Anne was born July 26, 1921 in Chihuahua, Mexico to Manuel and Frances (Ramirez) Medinaveitia and rose from poverty to become an accountant and business owner with her husband, Eugene Franklin Heflebower. They raised three children, Dolores Anita "Dee Dee," John and Linda. After Eugene passed away, Anne married George Britt. After George passed away, she married Donald Baker. Anne was a superior athlete as a flamenco dancer, bowler and club champion golfer three consecutive years. She was also skilled in knitting, needle point and was a prolific quilter. If you were Anne's friend or relative, you have one of her quilts. Anne was a longtime supporter of her church, St. John's Lutheran Church, Peru and loved her fellow parishioners. Survivors include two children, John Heflebower of Saint Helena, CA and Linda (Donald) Gorr of Arlington Heights; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild on the way. She was preceded in death by three husbands, Eugene Heflebower, George Britt and the late Mayor of Peru, Donald Baker; a daughter, Dolores "Dee Dee" Heflebower; a grandson, Grant Heflebower; her parents; four brothers, Ruben, Salvador, Charlie and Albert Ramirez and a sister, Amelia Ramirez. Pallbearers will be John Heflebower, Ryan Malcom, Sophie Heflebower, David Malcom, Donald Gorr and Robyn Malcom. Memorial contributions may be directed to St. John's Lutheran Church, Peru.

Letter from the Co-Director

My husband and I were friends with Don Baker for years. When he told us he met a wonderful woman on an airplane we knew then he was smitten. They were married a short time later and Anne Baker entered our lives. Don’s friends quickly became Anne’s friends so I was blessed to have her in my life. Anne and I went shopping together, had dinner parties, and she hosted a beautiful baby shower to welcome our son. In 1998 we even became neighbors. As Anne’s friend and accountant I was aware of her generosity. In 1995, she established the Anne Baker Foundation to which she made donations for years. The final gift by way of her foundation was the beautiful clock tower outside the Peru City Hall. Anne was as caring as she was giving. She was a very active member of St Johns Church and participated in their quilting club which sent quilts to needy people across the world. I was blessed to receive one of her handmade quilts. Anne lost her daughter Dee to cancer and set up nursing scholarships in Dee’s name through Illinois Valley Community Hospital. Always thinking of others, Anne's final act of philanthropy was setting up a charitable trust to serve the needs of charities in the Counties of LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam. She named her dear friend, Joseph Hogan; the minister of her beloved church, Pastor Tom Redig; and myself to serve as the Co-Directors. We are honored to serve on the board of Anne M. Baker Charities and are asking local charities to fill out online applications requesting and outlining your needs and uses for potential grants. We are grateful to Anne for her unbounding generosity.

- Rorie Schweickert, Co-Director

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