Virginia 'Mary' (Guarino) Baker

It is with love and gratitude for a life well-lived that we share news of Virginia ‘Mary” (Guarino) Baker, our beloved Ma, and Grandma’s passing, on Saturday, January 13, 2024. She was 91 years old. Her love of family lives on in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Born on March 8, 1932, in Brockton, MA to Virginia Mae (Johnson) and Louis Guarino, Mary lived in Holbrook for most of her life, moving to Falmouth and Bridgewater, then Walpole in her later years.

Stories of Mary’s childhood in Brockton were marked by warm, and often humorous memories of her siblings, Nettie, and the late Angelo, Jennie, Joe, and Louis. Though she came of age during a tumultuous time in history, Mary’s resilience, sense of humor, and the mischievous twinkle in her eye were undiminished. In the late 1940s, Mary met her soulmate, Louis Baker while out with her older brother. It was love at first bite (of chocolate bit cake), and they married only a few months later in June of 1949.

Mary remembered the early years of her marriage with Louis as some of the happiest of her life. Family and friends often marveled that the spark of new love was present throughout their 50+ years of marriage. Mary adored her mother-in-law, Nellie, who taught her how to sew, knit, cook, and bake, the latter of which she would become famous for. Mary and Louis soon welcomed three children in quick succession; Louis, Joan, and Bobby.

Mary elevated her role as a homemaker to an art form. When she wasn’t making something delicious, she was creating in other ways, knitting blankets, sewing, or braiding rugs. To “rest” from her daily work, Mary loved reading through the stacks of crime, mystery, or romance novels that graced her living room end tables. Once her grandchildren Michelle, Nina, Josephine, Gina, Nick, Andrew, and Tabetha came along, Mary not only shared the fruits of her baking and crafting labors but taught many of us the importance of exactness and detail when creating something. This is one of the ways in which she showed us love. The time, care, and thought that went into spooning and measuring every ingredient, and the pride she took in how much enjoyment came from that labor (even if Grandpa absconded with half of the refrigerated Snickerdoodle dough in the night) that it was more important to go back and fix a dropped stitch than to give up on the project altogether. The choice to whip up waffles from scratch for breakfast, or drive a distance for the perfect bagels, ice cream, and so on. The quality of what she shared with others mattered.

Grandma also understood and taught us the invaluable lesson of showing love by showing up. Parties, graduations, recitals, performances, holidays, birthdays, and more. She was generous with her time, talents, and in countless other ways. She gave everything she had to those whom she loved.

Grandma/Ma/Mary will be missed, though we are comforted that she is in heaven, celebrating with Louis and her grandson Andrew. She is also survived by daughters-in-law Jeannette Lorina and Ann Baker, son-in-law Mac MacRae, her grandchildren’s spouses, and her great-grandchildren; Erich and Scott Alberg, James and Robert Hoffman, Anthony, Charlie, Joanna, and Eleanor Linden, Olivia Baker, Teddy Pishkin, Tallulah Tobin, and Pepper Tant.

Arrangements: A celebration of life will be held from 11 AM - 1 PM on Saturday, January 20th at the Hurley Funeral Home in Holbrook, MA. Burial will take place at the Wendell Cemetery immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary's memory to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society via

In Grandma’s spirit of generosity, we want to share her recipe for Chocolate Bit Cake (the meatball recipe stays in the family). According to her, it’s a foolproof strategy for nabbing a husband:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 ⅔ cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar (packed), ¼ cup cocoa, 1 tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt. Then stir in 1 cup of water, ⅓ cup of vegetable oil, 1 tsp vinegar, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Once mixed with a fork, pour into the pan, and evenly distribute 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips over the top. Bake in an ungreased 8x8 pan for 35-40 minutes.


First Name: Irene
Last Name: (Petrino) Lacina
City: Sagamore Beach
State: MA
Country: U S A
Entry Date: 01/17/2024

To Mary's family
I am so sorry for your loss. Mary was one of my favorite cousins. We both grew up together in our Brockton, MA neighborhood. She was a wonderful person and just a joy to be with. After she married Louie, we sort of lost touch until we got older. It was fun reminiscing about our earlier years.
My best wishes to her family.
God Bless!

Irene Petrino Lacina

First Name: Tim and Trudy
Last Name: Barry
City: Waukee
State: IA
Country: United States
Entry Date: 01/18/2024

Nina and families, sounds like your Grandma Baker was the type of Grandmother that every young child would be very blessed to have. One who would help that young child to become a good adult and be blessed with great memories and good food (sweets and recipes). So sorry about your loss. So happy Grandma Baker was part of your lives. Thoughts and Prayers.

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