Debra Kay Baker
Debra Kay Baker

November 15, 1955 - December 1, 2020
Born in Martins Ferry, OH


Debra Kay Baker passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, while surrounded by her children, after an admirable fight with ovarian cancer. She was 65 years young.

One of five children, Debbie was born on November 15, 1955, in Martins Ferry, Ohio, to James Richard (Dick) and Dorothy Jane Rice. She was preceded in death by her father Dick Rice and younger brother Steve. She enjoyed spending time with her sisters — Janet, Nancy and Susan —in the sunshine state of Florida. A momma’s girl, Debbie was extremely close with her mother Dorothy, and started every morning with a hot cup of tea, a daily reminder of their loving relationship.

Diagnosed in 2019, she fought a valiant fight with the support of her children. Until her health condition made it impossible, she taught at West Virginia University at Parkersburg (WVUP). A dedicated educator, Debbie was a professor of business at WVUP for more than thirty years. Her students found her courses difficult, but ultimately that they offered deeper learning than alternative courses. She was passionate about helping her students earn their college degree and achieve their dreams.

She was often heard saying that her greatest accomplishment in life was her children. She was a proud mother of three and was often seen cheering on the sidelines of the soccer field or coaching Odyssey of the Mind. Debbie had a daughter, Dr. Adrienne King (husband Brad), with her high school sweetheart Thomas Sommers. She remarried and had two children with husband Robert Baker, a daughter, Whitney Sherman (husband Chris) and a son Andrew Baker. She also leaves behind two furbabies, rescue cats Mocha and Latte.

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance at




Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance