Nona Jumper Baker
Nona Jumper Baker
  • October 25, 1923 - January 1, 2018
  • Madison, Mississippi

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Nona Jumper Baker,94, much loved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, died Monday, January 1, 2018, at St. Catherine’s Village in Madison. Nona was born in rural Prentiss County near Booneville, Mississippi. About the time Nona started to school, her father entered the Methodist ministry, and the rest of her childhood was lived in small towns around north Mississippi as her father was moved from church to church. She learned to adapt and make new friends with each move. She took piano lessons in order to play for church services, weddings, and funerals, and continued enjoying playing throughout her life, even taking a keyboard with her to St. Catherine’s

After graduating from high school, Nona received a scholarship to attend Wood Junior College in Mathiston. She loved the small school and the close relationships among fellow students and teachers. She made many life-long friends there, one of whom lined up a blind date for her with a Mississippi State student, Bryan Baker. However, their romance was interrupted by the Second World War. Bryan was sent to France and Germany while Nona taught school to save money to finish college. They corresponded while he was gone and married a few months after he returned on March 1, 1946. Both continued their educations at Mississippi State with Nona’s graduating with a degree in secretarial science and working for the President of Mississippi State while Bryan went to graduate school. Their only child a daughter, Suzanne, was born in 1948, and they moved to the University of Illinois for Bryan to get a PhD.

After a few years at Virginia Tech, they moved back to Starkville where they lived until moving to St. Catherine's 2012.

Bryan taught in the Animal Science Department, and Nona worked in the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences as secretary to the deans. She was a founding member of the University Women's Club and attended regularly as long as she lived in Starkville. She also was an active and loyal member of Starkville Methodist Church, always reaching out to new ministers and their families. She was also involved in all of Suzanne's activities.

A true southern lady, Nona was a wonderful cook and hostess. She also enjoyed sewing and gardening and had beautiful flower gardens.

Nona quit working on campus when her grandsons were born to give her more time with them.

After Bryan retired, he and Nona enjoyed traveling and spent their Golden Wedding anniversary in Paris. They also loved going to football and basketball games on campus, and enjoyed going to plays at the Starkville Little Theater and the Orpheum in Memphis. They continued to be involved with Wood Junior College and Nona was recognized as "Outstanding Alumnus of the Year”.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 67years, and a sister, Lorraine Perry.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Suzanne and Hunter Cade, two grandsons, Bryan and David (Sarah), and four great-granddaughters, Jordan, Dylan, Anna Claire, and Macey.

Her family would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all who provided such loving care to her during her stay at St. Catherine’s Village.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January, 4, 2018, at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland, preceded by visitation at 10:00. Burial will be at 3:00 p.m. at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Grenada.

Memorials may be made payable to the MSU Foundation for the Bryan and Nona Baker Endowed Scholarship, P.O. Box 9520, Mississippi State, MS 39762.