Dec. 14, 1971 — Nov. 8, 2019
Amy Sue Baker, 47, passed away on Nov. 8, 2019.
Born on Dec. 14, 1971, Amy was sent home in a Christmas stocking, a joyful move by nurses at the Tillamook County Hospital. Her porcelain skin and ginger hair, as bright as that stocking, were the hallmarks of her beauty all her life.
The eighth child in a family that grew to 12 children, she was sweet generosity bathed in ferocity, shyness encased in steel. She made her way in the world with passion, grit and determination. She was kind and tough and proud to be both.
While Rockaway was her first home, she mainly grew up in Astoria, graduating from Astoria High School in 1990. Like several of her sisters, she attended the University of Portland, earning her political science degree in 1994.
Her year in Salzburg, Austria, on an exchange program was a life-changing highlight. She loved urban life. She got involved in politics working for Sen. Ron Wyden, where she met her husband, Michael Campbell.
They later moved to Washington, D.C., where she gained experience in a lobbying firm, meeting luminaries along the way. She returned to Portland, Oregon, in 1998, to pursue a law degree from Lewis & Clark College and to start a family. She would likely say those were her greatest accomplishments in life: becoming a lawyer, becoming a mother.
But another accomplishment is that she built circles of friends at every stage of her life, concentric circles like the rings in an old-growth tree. She had lifelong friends from her Astoria adolescence, her college adventures, her law school toils, her workplaces and her extended Buckman neighborhood “family” in southeast Portland.
With her sly charisma, soft chuckle and acerbic asides, she drew people in. She was often irreverent, like her holy trinity of heroes, Johnny Cash, Bill Murray and Kris Kristofferson. She loved many things purely, some things ironically, and some things both purely and ironically … like pickles.
Being a mother was the most important thing to her, and one of the last things she did to show her love was to buy her sons a brick in Pioneer Square, inscribed with their names, a permanent remembrance of the completely urban life they all loved, and a token of their mutual devotion to each other.
Amy is survived by her sons Ernie (15) and Hank (8); their father Michael Campbell, her former husband; her mother, Sandra Baker of Seaside, Oregon; and her siblings, Angela Baker of Sarasota, Florida, Valerie Baker of Bend, Oregon, Mark Baker of Vancouver, Washington, Brenda Parker of Camas, Washington, Heidi Sue Baker of Portland, Travis Baker of Happy Valley, Oregon, Sally Baker of Portland, Gabrielle Baker of Portland, Shanisee Baker Eller of Portland and Jacob Baker-Mendonca of Portland; as well as many other loving relatives in her large extended family.
Amy was preceded in death by her brother, Benjamin Baker, and her father, Bruce Baker.
A debt of gratitude is owed to the professional team at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for their loving care of Amy, and her family and friends, during her time there.
A remembrance gathering will be held in Amy’s honor on Dec. 14, 2019, at the Laurelhurst Club, 3721 S.E. Ankeny St. in Portland, between 1 and 4 p.m.