Lena Baze

Alton | Monday, October 25 2021 |

Lena Belle Baze, 85, entered her eternal rest at 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, at home surrounded by family. She was born on June 9, 1936, in Rombauer, Missouri, the eighth daughter of the late August and Darlie (Hood) Henry. She married her high school sweetheart James B. Baze on Sept. 8, 1955, in Alton, Illinois, and he survives. Other survivors include two daughters: Melinda Brooks of Alton, Illinois, and Debby Whitney of Alton, Illinois; two sons and a daughter-in-law: James “Jim” Baze of Godfrey, Illinois and Joseph “Joe” and Debbie Baze of Godfrey, Illinois; and thirteen grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, and other extended family and friends. 

Lena worked at the Owens-Illinois Glass Factory after attending Alton High School in the early 1950s. She served as a military wife, overseeing the family’s relocation to five different U.S. Navy bases from the late 1950s through the 1960s, and worked through the 1970s in the Housekeeping Department at the former Eldercare in Alton, Illinois, where she was known for always having a kind word for residents and slipping them treats from her pockets. She enjoyed gardening, keeping fish aquariums, swimming laps at the YWCA of Alton, Nautilus Fitness Club and later at her own in-ground pool, and casting and painting ceramics in her basement studio. 

However, her greatest joy was taking care of her children followed by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She spent much of her life creating a home where all were welcome and a pot of home-cooked food sat ready on the stove. Seeing everyone well-fed gave her much happiness. Never was there a family more loved and nurtured by such an extraordinary woman. Her passing leaves an immense hole, but the impact she had on the lives of those she loved endures. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a son-in-law: Ricky Brooks; a daughter-in-law: Linda (Hans) Baze; eight sisters: Arlene Smoot, Norma Osborn, Lucille Turner, Virginia Rawlings, Ruth Keber, Grace Dalton, Lillie Buchanan, Pansy Schuetz; and one brother: Buford Henry. 

In celebration of her life, visitation will take place from 9 a.m. until time of services at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at Pitchford Funeral Home in Wood River, Illinois. Pastor Joel Lohr will officiate. In accordance with the current CDC guidelines, face masks are required. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Upper Alton. 

Obit Provided By:
Pitchford Funeral Home

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