Mabel Mary Louise (Sickman) Baker went to her heavenly home at 109 2/3 years old on February 8, 2023, at Grape Community Hospital with her family nearby. Her life spanned horse and buggy days to the jet age. She saw her first car at age four, survived the 1918 pandemic as well as COVID, and remembers her family driving to Indiana in a Model T sleeping in farm barns along the way. She later jetted around the world with her daughter and family, visiting Europe, Tokyo and China, and took many trips with her family and friends throughout the U.S. She flew to Boston often, making her last flight at age 105. We were all blessed by her long and fruitful life.

Mabel was born in a log house outside Stendal, Indiana, on May 30, 1913, to Herman and Flora (Sollman) Sickman. At age two, she and her family moved to Southwest Iowa where she lived for the rest of her life. In 1925, the family moved to a farm west of Northboro, which the family continues to own. After one room country schools and a year helping on the farm, her father was persuaded to permit her to go to high school. She remembered milking the cows before walking to school and doing chores as soon as school was dismissed. She graduated from Northboro High School in 1932 second in her class. Mabel was the only girl in her class and male classmates Freddie Michel and Floyde Bredensteiner and their families remained lifelong friends.

Mabel attended one summer school of college which qualified her to teach all eight grades in Page and Fremont one room country schools, a job that included pumping the water and tending the coal stove. She recalled teaching 26 children in all eight grades. In 1936, she was teaching at Lone Willow School at Midway where she met Jesse Baker, the love of her life, when he asked for a ride in her new roadster. Mabel and Jesse were married in 1939 and she left teaching to be a farm wife.

Jesse and Mabel moved to a farm outside Northboro in 1948 where Mabel lived for the remainder of her life. They initially raised chickens and were featured on the cover of Wallace’s Farmer magazine with their flock of 1,000 chickens. Mabel always grew a big garden and canned at least 100 quarts of tomatoes every year. Mabel had a varied career, taking the 1950 and 1960 census, preparing income taxes for friends and neighbors, and working at the Northboro locker plant. Mabel loved to drive and convinced the Shenandoah School superintendent to hire her as their first female bus driver. Later, she was appointed postmaster in Northboro, a position she held until she retired at age 76. After Jesse died unexpectedly in 1971, Mabel decided to continue farming, and, thanks to farm partners, most recently Mark Cutler, was active in managing her farm through 2022.

Mabel was steadfast in her faith in God. She was confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church near Northboro in 1926 and remained a member for 97 years, teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and being active in LCW. She was able to read the lesson at Sunday services on her 100th birthday. Thanks to Bible Study coming to her in the hospital, she was able to join in on February 2.

Mabel was in many ways the matriarch of the family. When interviewed on her 100th birthday, she said her philosophy of life was trying to help others be happy. She took special care of her cousin, Helen Sickman, and her nephew, Richard Blackman.

Besides a diet of green beans and tomatoes, Mabel attributed her longevity to not worrying. Her favorite Bible verse was Matthew 6:28, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, yet . . . even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Mabel was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her sisters, Clara (Sundermann), Emma (Winstead), and Lillie (Blackman) and their husbands; nephews, D.A. Sundermann, and Larry, Ron and Tom Blackman; niece, Kathy Winstead; many cousins including John Sickman; and her dear friends, Leora Michel and Violet Bredensteiner. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon, and son-in-law Gerard Morin, of North Hampton, New Hampshire; grandson, Bradford (Kirsten) Morin of Melbourne, Australia, who made a special visit to Mabel at Christmas, and granddaughter, Melissa Morin, and her husband, Craig Stadelmann, of Belmont, Massachusetts; multiple generations of cousins, nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.

It “takes a village” of care to reach 109 and remain living alone on the farm. Her family is grateful to the kindness and care extended to Mabel in her later years, by her granddaughter Melissa who took time from work to stay with her grandmother, her extended family with special thanks to Carol Sundermann, the St. Paul’s family that always remembered and included her even though she could not attend their early services, the wider Northboro community and especially all those who shared the bounties of their gardens and Darla Smith helping do what she could not. A special thank you to Dr. Kelli Woltemath and the Grape Hospital staff for caring for her so compassionately as she encountered the challenges of aging.

A funeral service was held Saturday, February 11, 2023, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Northboro, Iowa. Per Mabel’s request, the service started five minutes late. Pastor Kurt Hoover officiated. Interment was held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Northboro. Services were under the direction of Davis Funeral Home, Tarkio, Missouri. Memorials may be directed to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Northboro. Online condolences may be left at